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Turkish President Urges International Action On Syria

Turkish troops take up position at the Akcakale border gate in southern Sanliurfa province on the border with Syria on October 7.
Turkish troops take up position at the Akcakale border gate in southern Sanliurfa province on the border with Syria on October 7.
By RFE/RL
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has said that the "worst-case scenario" is unfurling in Syria and urged the international community to act.

Gul told reporters in Ankara on October 8 that Turkey would continue to do "whatever it needed" to protect its borders.

The Turkish president insisted that world powers should act "more efficiently" to stop the bloodshed. 

"We can't expect the situation in Syria to carry on like this," he said. "One day for sure there will be a change, but our wish is that this happens before Syria demolishes itself and more blood is shed."

Gul's comments came as Turkey's military reportedly launched a retaliatory strike after Syria fired a mortar bomb into countryside across the border on October 8.

It was the sixth consecutive day of Turkish retaliation against bombardment from the Syrian side of the border, where President Bashar al-Assad's forces are fighting against rebels.

The exchanges are the most serious cross-border violence in Syria's revolt against Assad, which began in March last year.

Turkey's armed forces have bolstered their presence along the 900-kilometer border with Syria in recent days.

Meanwhile, also on October 8, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Council of Europe in Strasbourg that the escalation in tensions along the Turkish-Syrian border was "extremely dangerous" and warned that they could result in a "regional calamity with global ramifications."

"The situation in Syria has dramatically worsened," he said. "It is posing serious risks to the stability of Syria's neighbors and the entire region."

Ban also said he was "deeply concerned" about the continuing flow of weapons toward both sides in the conflict.

Ban's warning came as BBC footage showed three crates -- apparently from an arms manufacturer in Ukraine and addressed to Saudi Arabia -- which were filmed in a rebel base in the city of Aleppo.

The BBC said it had not been allowed to film the contents of the crates.

Saudi Arabia has refused to comment on the issue.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, and the BBC

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