Turkey slaps sanctions on Syria

Ankara will freeze all financial dealings, block delivery of weapons; UAE announces suspension of flights to Syria.

Turkish FM Davutoglu, Turkish-Italian Forum_311 (photo credit: Reuters/Murad Sezer)
Turkish FM Davutoglu, Turkish-Italian Forum_311
(photo credit: Reuters/Murad Sezer)
Turkey will suspend all financial dealings with Syria and freeze Syrian government assets as part of sanctions against President Bashar Assad's government, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday.
Davutoglu also told a news conference that Turkey, once a close friend of Damascus, would block the delivery of all weapons and military equipment to Damascus as part of measures aimed at persuading Assad to end a violent crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.

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Turkey's move follows  Arab League sanctions imposed on Syria Sunday. Davutoglu also said a cooperation agreement with Syria was being suspended until there was a new government in place.
"Until a legitimate government which is at peace with its people is in charge in Syria, the mechanism of the High Level of Strategic Cooperation has been suspended," Davutoglu said, adding that Assad's government had come "to the end of the road."
he United Arab Emirates also announced that its airlines will suspend flights to Syria next week under sanctions imposed by the Arab League, the government of Dubai's press office said on its Twitter feed Wednesday.
It gave no further details. The country's main airlines are Emirates and Etihad Airways.

Ankara on Tuesday also raised the option of military intervention. Highlighting divisions among foreign powers on how to deal with the bloodshed in Syria, Davutoglu  said Turkey was ready for "any scenario."

Davutoglu suggested military force remained an option, albeit apparently a remote one, if Assad did not heed calls to halt the violence.

"If the oppression continues, Turkey is ready for any scenario. We hope that a military intervention will never be necessary. The Syrian regime has to find a way of making peace with its own people," he told Kanal 24 TV.

Davutoglu also raised the possibility of a buffer zone if the violence provoked a flood of refugees, an idea used by Ankara inside northern Iraq during the first Gulf War in 1991.