As the bloodshed against Syrian civilians continues without relief, neighbor and former long-time ally Turkey is calling for an international conference to finally put an end to the brutality of President Bashar al-Assad.
Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed in the Syrian city of Homs by government forces in recent days.
Turkey, which has already received thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the violence, wants an urgent meeting of global leaders to find a solution to the crisis next-door.
Leading Syrian opposition leaders have Turkish support and many of these exiles are based in Turkey. Ankara has also provided sanctuary for Syrian soldiers who are defecting from Assad’s military.
The Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested his country could host such a parley and that it should encompass as many voices as possible. Davutoglu is preparing to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and other officials in Washington as well to discuss Syria.
We will not let tyranny continue in Syria and we [won't] let the region enter a phase of instability, said Davutoglu.
Davutoglu told Reuters that Turkey cannot stand idly by while Syrian civilians are dying every day at the hands of their own government. However, he stopped short of disclosing exactly what the international community can do to stop Assad.
It is not enough being an observer, he said. It is time now to send a strong message to the Syrian people that we are with them.”
He added: All the international community should work together to help. Especially those who cannot even go from one street to another in Homs. You have pictures of children running from one house to another house while under artillery attack ... They cannot continue these methods of oppression. Now it is still time for diplomatic efforts, and we are using all diplomatic means.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey, has criticized Russia and China for vetoing a resolution by the U.N. Security Council that condemned Assad’s brutal crackdown.
Erdogan, who reportedly telephone Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to discuss Syria, later said that Assad has lost all legitimacy to rule his country.