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Erdogan urges Trump to take action against Syria

AFP , Friday 7 Apr 2017
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 5, 2017 (Photo: AP)
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called on US President Donald Trump to back up his harsh words against Syria with actions, following a suspected chemical attack this week.

An analysis of victims being treated in Turkey suggests they were exposed to the deadly nerve agent sarin, the country's health ministry said Thursday.

"Trump said it was impossible to close your eyes against the Assad regime's hateful actions. Thank you, but don't limit yourself to comments, we need action," Erdogan told Turkey's Kanal 7 television.

"If it truly is a matter of actions, then Turkey is ready to take its responsibilities. We will not back down," he said.

Trump said Wednesday that he was so shocked by the horrific attack in Idlib Province, which killed at least 86 people, that he was considering unilateral US action against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

"When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies... that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines," he warned.

But Trump did not go into detail about what any US response to the atrocity would be -- and he has previously opposed deeper US military involvement in Syria's civil war.

Former US president Barack Obama had also warned Syria that chemical attacks in the country's civil war would cross a "red line", but later refrained from taking military action against the regime.

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