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December 06, 2011

Turkish CHP accuses Ankara of smuggling arms to Syria

December 06, 2011

December 06, 2011

This is an interesting development. The Nationalist CHP, led by the Secular Allawite Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, accused the Erdogan government of arming the opposition inside Syria. But you could see that the Syrian regime is really the main source behind such a claim, as the CHP member of parliament who made the accusations led a party delegation in a recent visit to Syria, where he heard these allegations. Check the Turkish news article:

“Many Turkish-made firearms are used in Syria,” Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, a deputy from the southern province of Hatay, which borders Syria, informed in a telephone interview. “I don’t know how they got into the country, smuggling is the first answer comes to mind.”
Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, a member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Turkey’s main opposition group, had visited Syria in September with a delegation of his party. He said Syrian officials presented what they said was evidence of arms smuggling at the Cilvegozu border gate in Hatay. Trucks full of weapons had allegedly been unloaded in the no-man’s-land between the Turkish and the Syrian control points, he said.
“The Syrians said the arms ended up with the Muslim Brotherhood,” an Islamic group opposing the regime of Bashar Al Assad, the Syrian president, Ediboglu claimed."

The battles are mainly occurring in Homs, where the Free Syrian Army (FSA) defectors are well organised and fighting a fierce battle against regular troops and regime paramilitaries. In the past 24 hours, the battles in Homs left more than 50 dead, according to an Associated press report; some of the killings are reportedly sectarian, between the Allawite minority and the Sunni majority in the city.
The FSA leadership is based in Turkey, which explains the Syrian regime's frustrations with the NATO, and their military manoeuvres. Sky news did an interesting report on the Free Syrian Army (FSA), you can read it here. They basically deny that they include extremists in their rank, and go far to even claim that they are protecting civilians from the regime's attacks.

(Photo under: Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu)

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