U.S., Turkish officials meet to hasten Bashar al-Assad’s overthrow
August 23, 2012 – 21:13 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – Turkish and US officials have begun their first
“operational planning” meeting aimed at bringing about the demise of
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime, as heavy fighting
continued in Damascus and Aleppo, The Telegraph reported.
The meeting is expected to coordinate military, intelligence and
political responses to the crisis in Syria where a deadly crackdown on
peaceful protests that began in March 2011 has according to activists
claimed more than 23,000 lives.
The officials are also due to discuss contingency plans in the case of
potential threats including a chemical attack by the regime in
Damascus which Washington has called a “red line”.
Turkish foreign ministry deputy under-secretary Halit Cevik and US
ambassador Elisabeth Jones are leading the delegations made up of
intelligence agents, military officials and diplomats at the meeting
in Ankara, a Turkish foreign ministry source said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkey’s foreign minister
Ahmet Davutoglu announced their plans for such a mechanism to hasten
the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime on August 11.