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Turkey's Erdogan says the Syrian people are "close to victory".

Last modified: 24 Jul 2012 11:40

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is "closer than ever to victory" and warned that Turkey will respond firmly to any hostility from Syria.

Turkey has called for Assad to quit after he failed to heed calls for reform and the country has harboured Syrian rebels and tens of thousands of refugees along its border with Syria.

"We believe that the Syrian people are closer than ever to victory," state-run Anatolian news agency quoted Erdogan as saying at a dinner for ambassadors in Ankara on Monday evening.

The Turkish prime minister also criticised the faltering peace plan drawn up by international envoy Kofi Annan after the UN Security Council voted on Friday to extend for 30 days the mandate of the UN monitoring mission in Syria.

"The Annan plan, which the international community including Turkey has supported in good faith, has become a vehicle for exploitation by the Assad regime in its current form. The international community must take more responsibility when faced with the unfolding developments," he said.