Turkey: Assad supplying arms to Turkish Kurd militants

August 9, 2012 16:40


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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.

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