Erdoğan Says Received ‘Strong Signals’ Syrian Crackdown Nearing End
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says Ankara has started to receive what he called “strong signals” that the 21-month old Syrian uprising is coming to an end in favor of Syrian opposition.
“This bloody, this despotic process that continues nearly two years is already nearing to end. A government that meets the demands of people in Syria - God willing - will come to power soon,” Erdoğan told a meeting in Şanlıurfa province on the Syrian border.
Noting that Syria is passing through a painful and bloody period, Erdoğan said this process has economically hurt Şanlıurfa. He added that militarily, Ankara has changed its engagement rules to meet the Syrian threat more effectively after a mortar shell killed five Turkish nationals in the province’s Akçakale district, just on the border with Syria.
Syrian rebels are fighting a 21-month-old revolt against President Bashar Assad’s regime. Activists say more than 40,000 people have been killed in the crisis, which began with pro-democracy protests but has morphed into a civil war.
With steady opposition gains across the north, President Bashar Assad’s regime is having increasing difficulty sending supplies by land to Aleppo province, especially after opposition fighters cut a major thoroughfare from Damascus. It is just another sign that the opposition is consolidating its grip across large swathes of territory in northern Syria near the Turkish border.