Dr Bassam Abu-Abdallah, professor of international relations at Damascus University, who is reportedly closely associated with the regime of Syrian president Bashar al Assad accused Turkey of being behind the shipments of arms to Syria.
He made the accusations during an interview with Al Jazeera on Friday:
Asked if it is true that Turkey is sending weapons to the Syrian opposition, he said:
“It seems that some Turkish quarters are involved in transporting weapons, allowing the transportation of weapons, or turning a blind eye to it. I do not know what is exactly happening on the border.”
He indicates that the border is guarded by Turkey while Syria is responsible for lighting it, adding that there are NATO bases close to the Syrian-Turkish border.
He adds: “The Turkish Government should know that this will not bring the region any good and it has to restore contacts and help the Syrian authorities on the issue of dialogue because the ones we see on the ground are armed murderers who carry out massacres. If some quarters in Turkey are involved in a larger plan against Syria, they should then know that this plan will not pass because the Syrians are prepared for any scenario. Also their allies in the region are prepared for that.”
He then denies the Turkish accusations leveled at Bashar al-Asad’s brother Mahir al-Asad, noting that the Turkish side “did not condemn” the “massacres” committed by armed groups in Jisr al-Shughur.
Concluding, he said: “The Turks must realize that the region cannot tolerate more interference or more of such an escalatory language, which is linked to draft resolutions at the Security Council supported by the United States, which is not a friend of Syria. On the contrary, it is the enemy of Syria and supporter of Israel.”
120 security forces were allegedly killed in Jisr al-Shughur. The government blamed “armed gangs” for the violence while Syrian state television is reporting that civilians are greeting the troops as liberators. But Syrians who have fled into Turkey say Syrian police turned their guns against each other and that soldiers in the town took off their uniforms after refusing to fire on civilians protesting the rule of President Bashar Assad.
An eyewitness in Jisr al-Shughur said around 2,000 officers and conscripts had defected from the Syrian army and were fighting alongside residents in the town to repel the assault. “They mutinied because of their orders” to shoot at local civilians, he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he feared the consequences of talking to the news media.
Due to Syrian restrictions on media access, it has been impossible to independently verify all these claims.