Syria Says Turkey Allows al-Qaida to Cross its Borders
DAMASCUS, Syria (Associated Press)—Syria accused Turkey Sunday of allowing thousands of Muslim extremists to cross into its territory, as the government and opposition said an explosion killed at least seven and cut off a main road leading south from the capital.
In letters to the U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Syria’s Foreign Ministry said Turkey allowed “thousands of al-Qaida, Takfiri and Wahhabi terrorists” access to the country in order to “kill innocent Syrians, blow up their properties and spread chaos and destruction.”
Syrian authorities blame the anti-government uprising that began in March last year on a foreign conspiracy and accuse Gulf countries Saudi Arabia and Qatar, along with the U.S, other Western countries and Turkey, of offering funding and training to the rebels, whom they describe as “terrorists.”
Turkey serves as headquarters for the leaders of the Free Syrian Army rebels and hosts many meetings of the Syrian National Council opposition group. Relations between Turkey and Syria, once strong allies, have been deteriorating since after the crisis began last year and Ankara became one of President Bashar Assad’s harshest critics.
UN Confirms ‘Terrorists’ Operating in Syria
An increasing number of “foreign elements” including jihadist are operating in Syria, an independent U.N. panel confirmed yesterday in its first report to say that outside “terrorists” have joined a war spiraling out of control.
The investigative panel appointed by the Human Rights Council said some of these forces are joining armed anti-government groups while others are operating on their own. “Such elements tend to push anti-government fighters towards more radical positions,” the head of the panel, Brazilian diplomat and Professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, told diplomats. He referred to the foreigners as “terrorists,” though the word did not appear in the written report, according to the Associated Press.