Clinton: U.S., Turkey to boost operational planning for Syria
At the U.S. Secretary of State's meeting with Turkey's foreign minister,Ahmet Davutoglu, in Istanbul, both sides say no fly zones could be an option; meanwhile, residents report Assad forces, rebel clashes in Damascus.
The United States and Turkey will expand operational planning for Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday after meeting Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, with both indicating no fly zones could be an option.
"We have been closely coordinating over the course of this conflict. But now we need to get into the real details of such operational planning and it needs to be across both of our governments," Clinton told reporters in Istanbul.
"Our intelligence services, our military have very important responsibilities and roles to play so we are going to be setting up a working group to do exactly that," she added.
As Clinton discussed the crisis with senior Turkish officials during a day of meetings in Istanbul, forces loyal to President Bashar Assad clashed with rebels in the heart of the capital Damascus near the Syrian central bank on Saturday, a resident told Reuters.
An explosion was followed by fighting, said the resident, who asked not to be named for fear of arrest.
"The explosion was huge. There has been fighting for the past half an hour along Pakistan street. I am very close. Can you hear that?" she asked, to the sound of a loud bang.