Turkey threatens to cut electricity as Syria is more isolated
Turkey threatened to cut off supplies of electricity to its neighbor Syria Tuesday, as the Damascus regime found itself under growing pressure from Arab, Turkish, European and North American governments for its ongoing lethal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.
“We are supplying them (Syria) with electricity at the moment. If they stay on this course, we may be forced to re-examine all of these decisions,” Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Tuesday, according to Turkey’s semi-official Anatolian Agency.
Turkey, once a close political ally and strong trading partner of Syria, welcomed a decision by the Arab League last weekend to suspend Syria’s membership in the alliance.
Days after the humiliating rebuke, a senior Arab League official told CNN the group was floating a plan to try to send some 500 observers to protect civilians in Syria. According to the United Nations, more than 3,500 Syrians have been killed since anti-government protests first erupted in March.
“They are targeting innocent people” Syria angry over Arab League suspension Arab League imposes suspension on Syria Fresh abuses reported in Syria
“In a meeting headed by Dr. Nabil Al Araby, the secretary-general of the Arab League, held Monday, the Arab League and Arab human rights organizations decided on a mechanism to protect Syrian civilians which will involve sending a delegation of 500 representatives of Arab organizations, media organizations, and military observers to Syria with the objective of documenting the situation on the ground,” the official said to CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official said the plan was to be presented at an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Morocco’s capital Wednesday.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Juda confirmed to CNN that his government had received an invitation to contribute representatives to the proposed observer mission.
“We are studying it right now,” Juda said in a phone call with CNN Tuesday. “It might be verified tomorrow,” he added, at the expected Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in Rabat.
On Monday, Jordan’s King Abdullah became the first Arab leader to publicly call for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down.
“If Bashar has the interests of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life,” Abdullah said in an interview with the BBC.