Saturday, May 5, 2012

Witnesses: Armed Syrian groups receive weapons through Turkey

Source: Press TV

A Turkish lawmaker says people in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay have witnessed vehicles carrying loads of heavy weapons towards Syria.

Refik Eryilmaz, a member of Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, has stated that the weapons have been similar to those used in Libya clashes.

The reported weapons in Hatay have fueled speculations about supply of weapons to armed Syrian opposition forces through Turkey.

Eryilmaz has criticized the Turkish government’s policies towards Syria, noting that Turkey is being pushed to engage in a war with Syria. The lawmaker believes that any military action against Syria will trigger a domino effect in the Middle East and will fuel tensions in the region.

The lawmaker’s warning against any military approach towards Syria comes as many senior politicians in Turkey have repeatedly warned that any foreign intervention in Syria will have grave consequences.

Eryilmaz says setting up camps in southern Turkey to host tens of thousands of Syrian refugees is part of a plan being pursued under pressure from the US and Israel to create a buffer zone along the Syria border to facilitate a military action against that country.

Last month, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency declared that the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey has surpassed 23,000. The refugees are living in tents and containers in several sites in southern Turkey.

Earlier this week, a lawmaker from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party in a news conference said Turkey has spent 150 million dollars on Syrian refugees. Pelin Gundes had called on European countries to share the burden with Turkey.

She had said the issue of Syrian refugees in Turkey should be reviewed from a humanitarian point of view.

It still remains to be seen if Turkey’s policies towards Syria will help alleviate the pain of the Syrian people or will lead to more violence in that country by taking measures that many observers believe will only strengthen armed groups in Syria.

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