Syria’s neighbors joined growing international calls yesterday (15 August) for Damascus to halt its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.
In Turkey, foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who visited the Syrian capital, Damascus, just last week, demanded that the Syrian government end its crackdown on a five-month-old uprising “immediately and unconditionally,” warning that unspecified steps would be taken otherwise.
Similar sentiments were voiced by the Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Al Bakhit had urged his Syrian counterpart, Adel Safar, to immediately halt military operations, implement speedy reform and spare the blood of the Syrian people.
So far, the Syrian government has ignored the condemnations. Just days after the Turkish foreign minister’s visit, the Syrian government sent its military forces into the port of Latakia, the third city to fall target to the violence. The UN says thousands of Palestinian refugees have been forced to flee a camp in the Syrian port of Latakia amid shelling by government troops.
Last week, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and recalled the Saudi ambassador from Damascus. Bahrain and Kuwait also have recalled their ambassadors from Syria and called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end the crackdowns.
Iranian snipers have been deployed in Syria as part of an increasingly brutal crackdown on protests against the rule of the Syrian President. Activists say the crackdown has killed 260 people this month.