World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who has been fighting Syrian rebels in a two and a half year long civil war, has warned Turkey that it will pay for supporting, in his words, ‘terrorists.’ He said that these rebels would soon turn against Turkey.
Speaking on Turkey’s Halk TV, which belongs to the main Turkish opposition party CHP, he called the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ‘bigoted’ and accused him of allowing 'terrorists' to enter Syria.
Turkey, Syria’s northern neighbor, has been a critic of the Assad regime since the beginning of the civil war and shelters almost 500,000 Syrian refugees. It was one of the main supporters of a UN lead military strike against regime targets in Syria following Assad’s apparent use of chemical weapons in August.
There has also been an increasing presence of the rebel groups along the Turkish border, who have been engaged in confrontations with other Islamist factions and Kurdish separatists.
Although Assad still enjoys support from his fellow Alawites and other minority groups in Syria who fear Sunni domination should Assad be toppled, Assad has refused to comment on whether or not he will run in next year’s presidential election. He said he would wait another 4 or 5 months to see whether or not his supporters want him to run or not.
He had previously also enjoyed much outside support from Iran and Russia. However, after the use of chemical weapons, which Assad not only denies but blames on the rebels, Russia and Iran have had to disassociate themselves from the regime, especially after the recent election of Hassan Rouhani, a moderate Iranian cleric who has been looking to renew Iran’s ties with the US.
These developments are making many believe that Assad’s days are numbered, and have already begun to debate on who will fill the power vacuum in his absence as cracks begin to appear between rebel groups, suggesting that the civil war may soon turn into a sectarian one.Last Mod: 04 Ekim 2013, 16:22