NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is suspected of providing weapons to Kurdish militants along the Turkish border, Turkish officials said.
The Turkish military launched recent military drills along the border near Syria ostensibly as a show of force against regional Kurdish militants. Ankara has expressed concern about violence in Syria while tackling the threat from Kurdish separatists along the border with Iraq.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, while on his way to Myanmar, that he met with members of the opposition Syrian National Council on the sidelines of his recent trip to the semiautonomous Kurdish north of Iraq.
If the Syrian government of Bashar Assad fell, he said, he wouldn't object to an autonomous Kurdish region in a new Syria.
He said he has no reservations against intervening should "terrorist formations" develop along the shared border with Syria.
"Assad gave them (Kurdish militants) weapons," he was quoted by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman as saying. "We have taken the necessary measures against this threat."
Assad announced Thursday that former Health Minister Wael al-Halqi was appointed prime minister, al-Jazeera reports. Former Prime Minister Riyad Hijab defected to Jordan this week, the highest-ranking official to do so since the conflict began early last year.
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