"Assad is a terrorist who uses state terror," Erdogan told Hurriyet after a meeting with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in Ankara. "I speak clearly. A person who has killed 110,000 of his own nation is a terrorist."
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About the US' satisfaction with the steps being taken towards disarming Syria of its chemical weapons, Erdogan commented, "How do you appreciate the behavior of someone who has killed 110,000 people?" The Hurriyet quoted the Turkish PM. "Death is death, whatever the weapon is."
'Cannot conceive of someone who praises Assad'
Erdogan, along with French President Francois Hollande, was one of the most staunch supporters of a military intervention in Syria following the August 21 massacre that took place in a suburb of Damascus, leaving over 1,400 dead. Erdogan then claimed that forces must strike Syria immediately and oust Assad.
As to the diplomatic solution and US Secretary of State John Kerry's involvement in it, Erdogan said, "I cannot conceive of someone who praises (Assad)."
Kerry said earlier Monday that Assad could take "credit" for quickly starting the process of destroying his government chemical weapons arsenal while thanking Moscow for its help. "I don't think Kerry made a statement like this," said Erdogan."If he did, he has run into a contradiction with himself."
Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have nine months to destroy all chemical weapon reserves in Syria. An official from the taskforce told the AP news agency that 20 inspectors began disarming weapons Sunday. The OPCW team arrived at Damascus to prepare grounds for a taskforce that will include some 100 inspectors.
Another crewman clarified that the inspectors; work is only supervision. "The Syrians are the one destroying the weapons. We just oversee the destruction and then report to our superiors."
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