Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Turkey has closed its border crossings with Syria, citing concerns about fighting within Syria between opposition groups.
The Turkish Commerce and Customs Ministry announced the temporary closures yesterday. The Bab al-Hawa crossing was closed after the Islamic Front, a recently formed association of tens of thousands of Islamist fighters dedicated to overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad and creating an Islamic state, seized control on the Syrian side. The Ministry also closed the Cilvegözü border crossing in the southeastern province of Hatay.
The Turkish government's announcement follows U.S. suspension of non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition. Syrian National Coalition spokesman Louay Safi commented on the suspension as "a temporary measure to sort out the situation in northern Syria." Last Friday, a warehouse of American-provided equipment was seized by the Islamic Front. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that during this period of suspended aid, "We’re gathering the facts, consulting with friends in the Syrian opposition on the next steps we can do in support of the Syrian people."
[Hurriyet Daily News] [CNN] [State Department]