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Syrians and Turks in Istanbul Protest Latest Syrian Show of Force

Dorian Jones | Istanbul February 04, 2012

In Istanbul, Turkey hundreds of Syrians and Turks protested against the latest reported crackdown by Syrian forces on dissent which killed more than 200 people. Syrian neighbor Turkey has become a base for the Syrian opposition.

"Assad the murderer," hundreds of protesters chanted against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad outside Syria's consulate in Istanbul. The demonstration comes in response to what Syrian opposition groups claim was the killing of scores of people in the shelling of an opposition neighborhood in the city of Homs on Friday.

Homs is one of the main centers of opposition to the Syrian president. Damascus has denied its security forces attacked Homs. But such denials did little to quell the anger of protestors.

"He will burn the country to stay on the chair, So to secure their position they are pushing for this sectarian war actually," said one protester.

Along with condemning President Assad there was also strong condemnation of Russia.

Addressing the protestors, one of the demonstrator organizers accused Moscow of also being responsible for the ongoing bloodshed. Moscow has continued to supply arms to Damascus and has opposed international efforts in the U.N. Security Council to take a tough stance against the ongoing crackdown by Syrian security forces.

The Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking in response to the Homs attack, called on the United Nations to take a clear and precise position on the subject of civilian losses.

Ankara has broken with its once close ally Damascus over the ongoing crackdown on dissent and is now strongly backing the Syrian opposition.

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