Turkey FM - Feb. 10, 2012
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, February 10, 2012.
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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is working to advance a conference of "Syrian friendly nations," geared at recognizing the Syrian opposition as the country's sole representative and as an alternative to Assad's regime.

An international cooperation of this kind could, Ankara feels, aid Syrian civilians in receiving medication and clothing and coordinate steps against Assad's regime with opposition forces.

As of now, Turkey is opposed to arming opposition forces or setting up safe-pass zones within the country via an international military intervention, but it will financially back the Syrian Free Army working to depose Assad.

The Turkish initiative is also reportedly backed by most Arab League members, including Saudi Arabia, whose King Abdullah expended considerable doubts in the United Nations' ability o deal with the Syria crisis following the UN Security Council veto wielded by China and Russia last week.

The Turkish initiative comes as a result of the understanding that diplomatic action or another observer mission could not reach their intended goal and that the Assad regime is determined to suppress resistance whatever the price.

And indeed, in recent hours Arab media has been reporting that Syrian tanks and artillery are heavily bombarding the city of Hama, along with the continued assault of the Homs neighborhoods of Baba Amr and Inshaat, where five people were killed Sunday morning.

Foreign ministers from Arab League states and Gulf emirates are expected to meet later Sunday to discuss developments in Syria.

Arab pundits believe that at this point the meeting is effectively meaningless since the Arab states have neither the ability nor the will to intervene, and, at most, can demand to pass on the Syrian issue to the UN General Assembly, the declarations of which have only a declaratory status.

Meanwhile, a former officer in Turkey's military intelligence was arrested in Turkey, over suspicions he was responsible for handing the first defecting Syrian officer, Colonel Mustafa Harmus, back to the hands of Assad's forces.

Assad's regime offered a bounty of $100,000 on Harmus, after he had fled Syria and entered Turkey's Hatay refugee camp. However, the defecting officer suddenly disappeared last August, and is thought to have been executed by Syria forces after being handed over by the Turkish officer.