[QODLink]
Middle East

Assad: Turkey will pay for backing rebels

Syrian president tells Turkish TV station that "terrorists" will turn on their hosts "like a scorpion".

Last Modified: 04 Oct 2013 21:00
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Bashar al-Assad said Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a sectarian agenda [AP]

The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has said Turkey will pay a heavy price for backing rebels fighting against him, and accused it of harbouring "terrorists" who, he claimed, would soon turn on their hosts.

In an interview with Turkey's Halk TV due to be broadcast on Friday, Assad called the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "bigoted" and said Ankara was allowing terrorists to cross into Syria to attack his army and civilians.

"It is not possible to put terrorism in your pocket and use it as a card. It is like a scorpion which won't hesitate to sting you at the first opportunity," Assad said, according to a transcript from Halk TV.

"In the near future, these terrorists will have an impact and Turkey will pay a heavy price for it."

Turkey shelters about a quarter of the two million people who have fled Syria and has allowed rebel fighters to cross in and out of Syria.

Last month, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized Azaz, about 5km from the border with Turkey, and has repeatedly clashed with the local rebel FSA brigades since then.

'Sectarian agenda'

Assad accused Erdogan, whose AK Party has its roots in conservative Islamist politics, of having a sectarian agenda.

"Before the crisis, Erdogan had never mentioned reforms or democracy, he was never interested in these issues. Erdogan only wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to return to Syria, that was his main and core aim," he said.

Assad again denied his forces had used chemical weapons and blamed such attacks on the rebels. Asked whether he expected the Geneva process to accelerate if Syria handed over its chemical weapons, Assad said he saw no link.

"Practically these issues are not related. Geneva II is about Syria's own domestic political process and cutting neighbouring countries' weapons and financial support to terrorists," he said.

340

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.