Erdogan says arming Syrian opposition not enough, Assad must be overthrown
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists that Ankara and Washington were yet to agree on the training and equipping of the opposition's Free Syrian Army (FSA), but said that allies should take steps toward the larger goal of ousting Syrian leader Bashar Assad, RIA Novosti reported.
"We would lie to ourselves if we only talk about training and arming [FSA troops]. We should regard Iraq and Syria differently. In Syria, the effort should be focused on toppling the Assad regime," Erdogan said at a press conference before his trip to Algeria.
The Turkish president added that the talks on arming the "moderate" Syrian opposition were not over since the US-led coalition, which has been attacking Islamic State (IS) militant forces in the Middle East, had not yet taken measures proposed by Ankara. This includes a no-fly area over Syria and a buffer zone on its northern border with Turkey.
"[The US-led coalition] has not yet taken the steps that we have suggested for Syria," Erdogan told reporters.