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Turkish President Says He's Lost Confidence In Syria

Turkish President Abdullah Gul

Turkish President Abdullah Gul

Turkey's Anatolia news agency cites President Abdullah Gul as saying the situation in Syria has "reached a level that everything is too little, too late. We lost our confidence."
Gul said "incidents are said to be 'finished' and then another 17 are dead." Gul asked "how many will it be today?"
Gul's comments come as residents of Harasta, a Damascus suburb, reported a group of soldiers defected from government forces as those forces were firing on demonstrators in the area. The Harasta residents said the defectors attacked government troops.
Syrian authorities have not commented on those reports and previously have denied there have been any defections among government troops.
This comes as the Arab League prepares to send its Secretary-General Nabil al Arabi to Damascus to deliver "an initiative to solve the crisis."
The Arab League released a statement early on August 28 that expressed "grave concern" over the Syrian bloodshed, and said Syria's stability was crucial to the stability of the Arab world and the Middle East region.
Also, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said "a very important envoy from Moscow" would arrive in Damascus on August 29.
Syrian ally Iran is also urging Assad to make some compromises. Iran's semiofficial news agency ISNA quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying on August 27 "in Yemen, Syria, or any other country, people have some legitimate demands and governments should answer them as soon as possible."
UN officials say more than 2,000 people have been killed in the Syrian regime's crackdown on protests that began in mid-March.

compiled from agency reports

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