Erdogan: We gave Syria clear message to stop bloodshed

Turkish PM says he hopes Damascus will take steps towards reform within 10-15 days; comments come as Syrian tanks storm two towns.

Tayyip Erdogan 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer)
Tayyip Erdogan 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer)
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he hoped Syria would take steps towards reform within 10-15 days and that Ankara gave a clear message to Damascus to halt the bloodshed resulting from the brutal repression of pro-democracy protests.
Erdogan, whose Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
On Tuesday, Syrian forces killed four villagers in the nearby town of Binnish, rights campaigners said.
"The three towns are near Idlib (the provincial capital) and are close to each other geographically and in family ties. Daily protests in the region have been unabated since the start of Ramadan," a local resident, who gave his name as Ali, told Reuters by phone, referring to the annual Muslim fasting month that began last week.
Turkey, whose southern province of Iskenderun borders Idlib, demanded on Tuesday that Damascus stop the killing of civilians and said it would watch events in Syria in the coming days.
The message from Turkey, long one of Syria's most valued allies, raised pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, who said his forces would continue to pursue "terrorist groups."