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Turkey: Syrian military will be treated as direct threat

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Despite international and regional pressures, the situation in Syria is seemingly not improving anytime soon.

Turkey was the latest country to speak against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. In a televised speech, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that if Syrian military approached its border, they will be treated as a direct threat. The Turkish warning comes days after Syria shot down a Turkish military plane.

Erdogan’s warnings were welcomed by their NATO allies.

The United States has continued to issue sanctions on the regime, in hopes that it will stifle the violence from Assad on the Syrian people.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday said that the U.S. finds that the Syrian downing of the Turkish plane is “unacceptable,” and that America “stands in solidarity with Turkey.”

It is "essential for the international community to come together" to work towards a political transition in Syria, Carney said.

The Syrian violence against Turkey comes after there have been several “high level” defections from the Assad regime.

“Recent high-level military defections to Jordan and Turkey are another testament to the regime’s loss of control over the situation in Syria. It is clear, however, that Assad is desperate to hang on to power at all costs,” said National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor.

“In spite of the escalated level of violence, protests continue across the country. Moreover, the opposition is gaining strength and working toward a political transition, defections are increasing, and many formerly pro-regime Syrians now view Assad as the problem, not the solution,” Vietor said.

The White House stressed that any political transition going forward in Syria “cannot include Assad,” Carney said.

“Clearly Bashar Assad’s regime has slowly been losing its grip on its country,” Carney said.

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