THE TURKISH FOREIGN Minister will visit Damascus in Syria today to tell President Bashar al-Assad to stop his security forces attacking protesters.
Reuters reports that Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will repeat his calls for the violence against civilians to end, but it is believed advisers to Assad will give him “short shrift”.
Assad and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan have a friendship that is said to be near breaking point.
This was put under pressure as Erdogan appealed to Assad to end one-party rule in his country.
Earlier this week, Italy recalled its ambassador to Syria because of what it described as the “horrible repression against the civilian population” in Damascus.
On Monday, Syrian forces shelled the city of Hama for a second day and fired at worshippers heading to Ramadan prayers.
Violence on Sunday left 74 people dead throughout the country, 55 of them from Hama and nearby, according to rights groups.
The European Union imposing asset freezes and travel bans against five more military and government officials in Syria yesterday.
President Barack Obama said the latest attacks on anti-government demonstrations in Syria, launched as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began, were “outrageous.”
Kuwait followed Saudi Arabia yesterday in recalling its ambassador from Damascus.
- Additional reporting by AP