ISTANBUL - Turkey's foreign minister accused Syrian President
Bashar Assad of arming a Kurdish militant group that has fought the Turkish
state for decades, potentially exacerbating a conflict which has killed more
than 40,000 people.
Clashes between the Turkish army and Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK) militants have intensified in recent weeks east of the
border with Syria in southeast Turkey. Ankara is concerned the PKK is exploiting
the chaos in Syria to expand its influence.
On Thursday suspected PKK
militants ambushed a Turkish military bus in the western province of Izmir,
killing a soldier and wounding at least 11 people.
Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu told Turkish media while travelling to Myanmar overnight that Assad
had given weapons to the PKK, which has established a presence in the towns of
Kobani and Afrin in northern Syria.