Syria won foreign praise on Monday (October 7) for starting to destroy its chemical arsenal. But Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said praise for the government of President Bashar al-Assad was inappropriate.
"How can we praise the behaviour of somebody who has killed 110,000 people...No matter what kind of weapons he used, chemical or not, his actions culminated in death. So how can we praise him?" Erdogan told reporters outside a hotel in Ankara.
"I no longer recognise Bashar al-Assad as a political authority. He is a terrorist who has created a terrorist state. A person who has killed 110,000 people from his own nation is a terrorist and he is imposing state terror at the moment"
During an operation on Sunday (October 6), Syrian forces used cutting torches and angle grinders to render missile warheads and bombs unusable. However, this was only the start of work that is due to last until mid-2014 and requires the cooperation of all sides.
Syria's neighbour Turkey is one of Assad's fiercest critics and a staunch supporter of the opposition, although it denies arming the rebels.
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