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Clinton Warns Of Escalation At Syria-Turkey Border

June 24, 2011

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Syria to pull back troops from near the border with Turkey, saying there is a risk of an escalation of the crisis.

Clinton told reporters in Washington that the U.S. has been discussing the situation with officials of NATO ally Turkey.

Clinton described the situation as volatile and "worrisome," and called on the Syrian military to immediately end attacks and provocations in the region.

She said the buildup of Syrian forces close to the Turkish border raised the potential for border clashes.

“It just is very clear to us that, unless the Syrian forces immediately end their attacks and their provocations that are not only now affecting their own citizens but endangering the potential of border clashes, then we're going to see an escalation of conflict in the area," Clinton said.

Clinton said the United States is concerned over reports that the Syrian military has surrounded the village of Khirbet al-Joz, which is located around 500 meters from the Turkish border.

Turkey said the Turkish and Syrian foreign ministers had consulted about the situation by telephone.

More than 10,000 Syrians are reported to have crossed into Turkey to escape military forces that have been cracking down on the three-month-old opposition movement against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/syria_turkey_us/24244961.html

Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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