Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Assad backs Turkey crackdown against PKK

(Al-Manar TV) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in Ankara on Wednesday that Damascus would back a possible Turkish incursion into northern Iraq to crack down "against terrorist activities" there.

"We support the decisions the Turkish government has put on its agenda against terrorism and terrorist activities," Assad told reporters after talks with Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul.

"We see this as Turkey's legitimate right," he said. He was speaking shortly before the Turkish parliament was to vote on a government motion seeking authorization for a cross-border operation into neighboring northern occupied Iraq to pursue PKK taking refuge there.

Syrian President arrived in Turkey Tuesday for a four-day visit to discuss regional issues and bilateral ties.

Assad is accompanied by Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdullah al-Dardari.

Assad's visit came 10 days after Turkish top diplomat paid an official visit to Damascus during which he voiced Ankara's desire to see its neighboring Syria in the coming period as part of regional resolutions, not as part of regional problems.

Turkey complained to Israel about the September 6 strike against Syria after Israeli warplane dropped fuel tanks on its territory during the incursion.