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Turkey: Syrian regime resembles armed militia

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December 1, 2012 06:06 AM EST | AP


ISTANBUL — Turkey's foreign minister says the Syrian regime has degenerated into an "armed militia" that resorts to brutality in an attempt to stay in power.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke Saturday at an Istanbul meeting attended by Arab foreign ministers who expressed opposition to the Syrian government. The ministers are also expressing support to the Palestinians after the United Nations endorsed an independent state for them.

Davutoglu and other delegates at the one-day conference say the Syrian regime is a threat not only to its people but also to peace and security in the region.

The civil war has forced hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee the country, and many more are internally displaced. Fighting has also spilled into Turkey and other neighboring countries.