Assad visiting Turkey as it tries mediate between Syria and Israel

October 16, 2007 13:19

Syrian President Bashar Assad was starting a visit Tuesday to Turkey, which Assad has said is trying to mediate between his country and Israel. The visit comes weeks after Israeli warplanes carried out an airstrike in northeastern Syria near the border with Turkey against a target that remains unknown, though widespread reports say it may have been a nascent nuclear facility, a claim Syria has denied. Turkey complained to Israel about the Sept. 6 strike because the aircraft dropped fuel tanks on its territory during the incursion. Assad has said the planes struck an empty warehouse, but both Syria and Israel have been unusually silent over the incident. Last week, Assad said in interviews with two Tunisian newspapers that Turkey was trying to mediate between Syria and Israel. Turkey has close ties to Israel

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