Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip says that he no longer considers Syrian President Bashar Assad a political leader, and has labeled him as a "terrorist," Turkish daily Hurriet reported on Monday.
“I don’t regard Bashar Assad as a politician any more. He is a terrorist carrying out state terrorism," Erdogan said. "A person who killed 110,000 of his people is a terrorist."
Erdogan was responding to comments made by Assad, when he warned in an interview with Der Spiegel on Saturday that Turkey would “pay dearly” for supporting opposition fighting to “overthrow his regime.”
“In the near future, these terrorists will have an impact on Turkey. Turkey will pay very dearly for its contribution,” Assad said.
During the interview, Assad alsoexpressed harsh criticism against Erdogan, saying he was a "liar" who “supports terrorists.”
Referring to a comment by US Secretary of State John Kerry about the success of the chemical weapons cleanup in Syria, Erdogan was skeptical about his congratulatory discourse.
“You are a human being and me, too. How can we appreciate the behavior of a person who killed 110,000 people, I ask you. The result of either chemical or other types of weapons is death. Then how can we appreciate this? I cannot imagine a person who appreciates this. I don’t think Mr. Kerry made such statement. If he made it, he would be contradicting himself,” Erdogan was reported as saying, when asked to comment on Kerry’s remarks.