Syrian President Bashar al - Assad has accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of not telling the truth since the foreign - backed unrest erupted in Syria.
“Erdogan has not said a single word of truth since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, ” Assad said in an interview with the Turkish media which was posted on the web on Wednesday. Turkey has openly voiced support for militants fighting against the Syrian government since the beginning of the ongoing unrest in the Arab country. Damascus says Ankara is playing a key role in fueling the turmoil in Syria by financing, training and arming the foreign - sponsored militants. The Syrian president also condemned the deadly attack on a mosque in Damascus that killed dozens of people, including a top Sunni cleric Mohammed Saeed al - Bouti, on March 21. Assad described the killing of Sheikh Bouti as part of a plan to sow “sectarian strife” in the Arab country.
“There is no doubt that the role of clerics, including Dr. Bouti, was key to ensuring the failure of a covert plan to create sectarian strife. That ' s why they assassinated Dr. Bouti, ” the Syrian president added.
Bouti, 84, was a retired dean and a professor at the College of Islamic Law of Damascus University. He was known for his anti-terrorism stances and criticism of foreign-backed militant groups fighting against the Syrian government. Many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence that broke out in Syria in March 2011.