Turkey says it would join coalition against Syria
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Turkey says it would join coalition against Syria

FM Ahmet Davutoglu says Istanbul willing to commit to action, UN-approved or not; French FM says all options open for Syria strike

Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (photo credit: AP/Hakan Goktepe/Turkish Foreign Ministry)
Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (photo credit: AP/Hakan Goktepe/Turkish Foreign Ministry)

Turkey would be willing to join an international coalition against onetime ally Syria, under UN auspices or not, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday. His French counterpart said Paris was deliberating its reaction against Damascus and that all options were open.

“We always prioritize acting together with the international community, with United Nations decisions,” Davutoglu told the Turkish daily Milliyet, Reuters reported. “If such a decision doesn’t emerge from the UN Security Council, other alternatives… would come onto the agenda.”

Davutoglu said that dozens of countries are currently discussing possibles responses. “If a coalition is formed against Syria in this process, Turkey would take its place in this coalition,” he said.

The Obama administration, along with France and the UK, has been weighing military action against the Assad regime since last week’s allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government outside Damascus came to light.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday that there will be a “proportionate response” to the alleged chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb that he blamed on Syria’s government.

“It will be negotiated in coming days,” Fabius told Europe 1 radio on Monday. Fabius acknowledged that the lack of a UN blessing was problematic. “All the options are open. The only option that I can’t imagine would be to do nothing.”

Syria’s government agreed to allow UN experts already in the country to begin an investigation Monday into the suspected chemical attack on rebel-held areas in the capital’s eastern suburbs. Anti-government activists and Doctors Without Borders say that more than 300 people were killed in an artillery barrage by regime forces Wednesday that included the use of toxic gas.

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