Turkey sends samples from Syrians for chemical tests abroad

Authorities have examined samples from more than 10 Syrian patients and the preliminary findings indicate that they were victims of a chemical weapons attack

Turkey sends samples from Syrians for chemical tests abroad

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey has been conducting additional analyses of samples from Syrian patients to verify initial findings that the Syrians were exposed to chemical weapons and has also sent samples to facilities abroad for examination, officials have said.

Authorities have examined samples from more than 10 Syrian patients and the preliminary findings indicate that they were victims of a chemical weapons attack, officials told Today's Zaman. But Ankara wants to double-check these findings by conducting further tests on the samples and sending samples abroad for additional scrutiny. Officials have refused to say which country or countries the samples have been sent to. Turkey will report its findings to the UN as soon as they are finalized.

In comments from Berlin, where he was on visit, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the tests have not yet produced conclusive results. “There are some preliminary findings but we want to be certain,” he told reporters late on Saturday. “Some additional tests will be run in Turkey and abroad.”

Davutoğlu also said Turkey might toughen its stance against countries that support the Syrian regime in the event that deadly car bomb attacks in the border town of Reyhanlı are proven to be the work of the embattled regime. “If connections to the Syrian regime are found, there will be issues we will need to take up more frankly and clearly with countries encouraging the Syrian regime,” he said.

Davutoğlu did not say which countries he referred to. Iran and Russia are known to be the main international supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, although Turkey has avoided openly targeting any of them for that policy. At least 46 people were killed in Reyhanlı when two car bombs exploded in the center of town on Saturday.

Davutoğlu has condemned the attacks as an act of provocation that came at a time when international efforts picked up momentum for a solution in Syria, apparently referring to Western statements that the Syrian regime might have crossed a red line by using chemical weapons and a US-Russian agreement to hold an international conference seeking a solution to the Syrian crisis.

In separate remarks on Sunday, Davutoğlu categorically dismissed suggestions that Turkey was left out of the US-Russian talks that resulted in last week's deal, saying the Turkish diplomatic activity led to momentum in international efforts which then set the stage for the US-Russian agreement.

"Can a plan that, one way or another, is not approved by Turkey, be implemented in Syria and in the Middle East? Is it possible? It is unimaginable for anyone to say something like that," Davutoğlu told state-owned TRT Türk television.

Last Mod: 12 Mayıs 2013, 23:01
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