Turkish PM rules out Syria solution with Assad at helm

Turkish PM rules out Syria solution with Assad at helm

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has ruled out a Syrian transitional government with the Bashar al-Assad regime, saying that Syrians would not accept such a solution.

Davutoglu's comments came during a live interview aired on Turkish private television network Star on Wednesday evening.

Asked if Turkey's Syria policy could change if the situation deteriorated, Davutoglu said that it was out of the question.

"In what areas do they expect us to be lenient regarding this policy? Even if we accepted a transition with Assad, would the Syrian people approve it? Would the people living in [refugee] camps believe that someone who drops bombs on them, and use chemical weapons could bring peace?

"All this talk about a transition with Assad is easily said on paper and behind closed doors in diplomacy rooms... But who are you going to persuade?" the Turkish premier asked.

Davutoglu also commented on Russia's military operation in Syria, saying that they would expect Russia not to be a party to the Syrian war as a "foreign force".

He reiterated that Russia was not targeting Daesh, but moderate opposition groups.

"We are facing a very dangerous situation. There is a foreign intervention in Syria today. The operations by coalition forces in which Turkey participated are against a terrorist organization and it didn't interfere with other factions that are fighting in Syria.

"Yet, now unfortunately Russia is conducting 90 percent of its operation against moderate operations to comfort the Assad regime. And it is making a cosmetic intervention against Daesh; 55 of 57 of its air operations are against oppositional forces. The military intelligence we have indicates that; only two of the operations were against Daesh," he said.

As for the upcoming early general election on Nov. 1, Davutoglu vowed not to leave the country without a government, saying the goal of his Justice and Development (AK) Party was to come to power single-handedly.

"Whatever I said [on the previous election] on June 7, I will say the same for the Nov. 1 election. We will not leave Turkey without a government and will not run from our responsibilities. [...] God willing, we will come to power single-handedly on the morning of Nov. 2," he said.

Turkey is heading for an early general election after no party succeeded in creating a ruling coalition after the June 7 general election.

More than 54 million people are eligible to vote on Nov. 1.

Turkish nationals living abroad will begin casting their votes between Oct. 8 and 25 at embassies, consulates and border gates.

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