Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said no steps could be taken to create safe zones to protect refugees inside Syria without a U.N. resolution.
“We cannot take such a step without any resolution at the U.N. Security Council,” Erdogan told Kanal Turk television channel.
His remarks came a day after Foreign Minister Davutoglu told the U.N. Security Council to “act without delay” to set up safe havens, warning that 80,000 Syrians were already in camps in Turkey, with 4,000 crossing the border daily.
But world powers failed to reach an agreement over Ankara's proposal which would imply authorizing a highly controversial protective military operation.
Erdogan said creating a buffer zone without a no-fly zone would be very risky.
“You cannot create a buffer zone without a no-fly zone in place,” he said. Turkey is home to more than 80,000 refugees and officials say around 20,000 Syrians are also living in flats or hotels around the country.
And thousands have been stranded on other side of the border waiting to be accommodated in camps yet to be built by the Turks.
Erdogan’s government has been at the forefront of international criticism of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad whose deadly crackdown on popular dissent has claimed more than 25,000 lives since protests erupted last year.
“Turkey is siding with the Syrian people, not with the cruel Bashar al-Assad regime,” said Erdogan.
“In my opinion, Assad’s political life is over.”