Syria: Turkish embassy closed, senior intel officer assassinated

Published March 26th, 2012 - 08:55 GMT

Turkey said on Monday it was closing its embassy in Syria and recalled its ambassador, citing the deteriorating security situation in the country. Activities at the embassy in Damascus are "temporarily suspended", but the consulate in Aleppo remains operational, said a brief statement posted on the Embassy website Sunday night.

The embassy was closed because of the situation in Syria, said a ministry official, on condition of anonymity. The Turkish ambassador and other diplomats will return home.

The decision came 48 hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey was about to sever its diplomatic ties with Syria. Turkey, which shares 911km of border with Syria, said it can not ignore the atrocities that take place in Syria.

More than 17,000 Syrians took refuge in Turkey in temporary camps.

Menwhile, the Syrian opposition reported last night the death of the Air Force intelligence chief in Damascus. Several opposition sources claimed that Colonel Eyad Mandou, branch head of the Damascus air intelligence, was killed by elements of the Free Syrian Army in the town of Al-Ghuzlaniyah on the airport road. Colonel Mandou was accused of ordering the killing of demonstrators in Damascusarea.

The elimination of Colonel Mandou is yet to be confirmed by reliable sources. But if confirmed, FSA has proven, once again, its ability to strike at the heart of the security apparatus of the regime. 

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