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Turkey Alerts UN On Frenzied Syrian Military Operation At Border

4/6/2012 6:49 AM ET

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made an urgent phone call to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon early on Friday to inform him about intense operations by the Syrian military near the Turkish border.

The State-run Anatolia news agency quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Davutoglu called the U.N. chief around 02.00 a.m. upon receiving information that the Syrian military had been conducting helicopter-backed operations near the Turkish border.

Davutoglu also informed Ban about developments in Syria in the past day, telling him that some 2,500 Syrians had entered Turkey in the past 24 hours through the border town of Rehyanli. More than 42,000 Syrians have fled the country since the beginning of the revolt, which the U.N. estimates has killed more than 9,000 people.

Davutoglu also invited U.N. officials to Turkey to observe developments on the Turkish side as well.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that he did not trust President Bashar al-Assad to comply with the peace plan proposed by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "He shoots people but pretends he is withdrawing troops. He is not withdrawing troops but he is duping the international community," he was quoted in media reports as saying.

Activist groups said at least 60 people had been killed in shelling or shooting by security forces on Thursday in various parts of Syria, mainly the central city of Homs and Idlib province in the north-west.

Meanwhile, the United Nations urged the Syrian regime to stop military crackdowns on protesters. Assad, who is trying to crush an year-old uprising, had agreed late last month to a U.N.-Arab League peace plan which sets April 10 as the deadline for a ceasefire.

by RTT Staff Writer

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