TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Turkey, Syria exchange fire for 5th day

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, 9:20 p.m.
 

AKCAKALE, Turkey — Turkey and Syria fired artillery and mortars across their volatile border for a fifth consecutive day on Sunday in one of the most serious and prolonged flare-ups of violence along the frontier.

The exchange of fire stoked fears that Syria's civil war will escalate into a regional conflagration drawing in NATO member Turkey, once an ally of President Bashar Assad but now a key supporter of the rebels fighting to topple him.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had warned on Saturday that Ankara would respond forcefully to each errant Syrian shell that lands on Turkish soil.

Ankara's warning was coupled by an apparent diplomatic push by the Turkish leadership to promote Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa as a possible figure to head a transitional administration to end the conflict in the country.

In an interview with Turkish state television TRT Saturday, Davutoglu said that al-Sharaa was a figure “whose hands are not contaminated in blood” and therefore acceptable to Syrian opposition groups.

It was not clear whether the Turkish stance was coordinated with other allies, but the candid remarks by Davutoglu suggested some consensus might be emerging over a future role for him.

Al-Sharaa, 73, a close associate and longtime loyalist to the Assad family, has been a controversial figure since the start of the uprising.

He appeared in public in late August for the first time in weeks, ending repeated rumors that he had defected. The regime has suffered a string of prominent defections in recent months, though Assad's inner circle and military have largely kept their cohesive stance behind him.

Early on in the uprising, the Syrian president delegated to al-Sharaa, a skilled diplomat, responsibility for holding a dialogue with the opposition. A Sunni from the southern town of Daraa, birthplace of the Syrian uprising, al-Sharaa's silence since the start of the uprising made him a prime candidate for rumors that he broke with the regime.

“No one knows the system better than Farouk al-Sharaa,” said Davutoglu, adding that al-Sharaa has not been involved in the violence and massacres in Syria.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard charged
  2. Study: Ocean algae can evolve fast to adjust to climate change
  3. Hurricane Odile targets Mexico’s Baja California
  4. Hurricane Odile batters Mexico’s Baja California coast
  5. U.S. Embassy warns citizens of Uganda ‘terrorist cell’
  6. North Korea sentences American to 6 years of hard labor
  7. Queen to Scots: Think carefully about future before independence vote
  8. Diplomatic push swells against ISIS
  9. 2nd American journalist beheaded as ISIS jihadist taunts, ‘I’m back, Obama’
  10. U.S. to tighten financial vise on Russians
  11. Russian gas disruptions ‘test’ Poland
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.