September 6, 2013 / 2:04 PM / 6 years ago

Turkey says almost all G20 leaders support operation against Syria

ST. PETERSBURG (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday almost all leaders at the G20 summit accepted the need for intervention in Syria and repeated that a small coalition could be formed for a joint operation even outside the auspices of the U.N.

Turkey has said previously it would be ready to take part in international action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has put its armed forces on alert to guard against threats from Syria, with which it shares a 900 km (560 mile) border.

“Almost all the leaders who attended the summit are closely following the massacre the Syrian regime carried out on its people and the leaders have expressed that an operation is extremely necessary against Damascus,” Erdogan said.

“At the moment there is no such thing as a decision for a joint operation in Syria ... as there is no U.N. Security Council decision,” he told a news conference in St. Petersburg. But he said a small group of countries could form a coalition.

“It could be three countries, five countries ... What will be the strategy of such an operation, what will be the tactics, they are separate issues ... But the necessity for such a thing to happen was emphasized (at the summit),” he said.

Writing by Jonathon Burch and Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Mike Collett-White

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