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Turkey's PM denies plan to intervene in Syria

AFP , Saturday 9 May 2015
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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has rejected claims that Ankara is preparing to intervene militarily in neighbouring Syria, local media reported on Saturday.

"No, there is no situation right now that requires Turkey's involvement," Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the Hurriyet newspaper.

Some opposition CHP party politicians claimed this week that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) might resort to military operations in Syria to boost its popularity ahead of a June 7 parliamentary election.

"Turkey will launch a military operation into Syria tonight or Friday," the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) secretary-general Gursel Tekin said on Thursday, adding that he received the tip-off from a "very reliable source."

Unlike like previous elections in which the AKP won successive victories, next month's election looks tighter with the ruling party expected to win 38-45 percent of the vote, according to the most recent surveys.

Davutoglu said the situation in Syria was in flux.

"The balances are rapidly changing in Syria," he said, adding that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad had lost major parts of the country despite support from Iran and Russia, the remaining few allies of Damascus.

An outspoken critic of the regime in Damascus, Turkey has backed opposition rebels fighting to topple Assad and plays host to nearly two million refugees.

But it has remained reluctant to take action against the jihadist threat in a US-led coalition, further straining ties with Washington, its NATO ally.

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