Turkey slaps sanctions on Syria

Turkey has imposed tough economic sanctions on its former ally, Syria. In response to the ongoing violence there, Ankara has frozen officials’ assets, suspended financial dealings with the country, and banned all military sales.

The Turkish measures come following sanctions imposed by the Arab League, the United States and the European Union. Syria has called the move “economic warfare.”

It is a must now that international and local pressure is increased and necessary steps are taken to protect the Syrian people from the cruelty of the present administration,” Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference.

All shipments of arms and military equipment through Turkey's land, airspace and seas will be prevented,” he said.

Turkey is Syria's largest trading partner, and the countries did $2.4 billion in trade last year, the Associated Press says, quoting the Turkish embassy in Damascus.

The tough measures by a former ally come in response to the ongoing crackdown against the anti-government uprising in Syria. The United Nations estimates that at least 3,500 people have been killed during the unrest.

Earlier this week, the UN released a report stating that government forces had committed crimes against humanity in their brutal crackdown on protesters.

Russia believes the unrest was triggered by armed Syrian opposition, and has called on both sides to begin a dialogue.

­Author and blogger Eric Pottenger told RT that the notion of a humanitarian war in Syria coming from NATO countries is based on the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, which they use to wage wars of aggression against sovereign states. “This was the doctrine that led to the Libyan operation,” he said.