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Syria accuses Turkey at UN of receiving stolen factory goods

Jan. 17, 2013 7:36 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 17, 2013 7:36 P.M.)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- War-ravaged Syria has accused Turkey of receiving stolen goods from armed groups, who it said plundered some 1,000 factories in the industrial city of Aleppo, and called on the United Nations to condemn its neighbor's involvement.

Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said in a letter to the UN Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, released on Thursday, that armed groups "transferred the stolen goods to Turkey, with the full knowledge of the Turkish Government."

"Syria would like to point out that these unethical acts ... are tantamount to direct participation in transnational crime and piracy," he wrote in the letter dated Jan. 7.

"The Syrian Arab Republic calls on the Security Council and the Secretary-General to condemn clearly these destructive acts of terrorism and do what is required to hold accountable their perpetrators, as well as those states and regional and international powers that stand behind them," Jaafari wrote.

The United Nations says more than 60,000 people have been killed during a 22-month-old revolt against Syrian President Bashar Assad, which began with peaceful protests but turned violent after Assad's forces tried to crush the demonstrations.

Assad's government has repeatedly accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the United States and other Western governments of supporting and arming the rebels. The government deny providing weapons to the rebels.

The 15-member Security Council has been deadlocked on how to try to end the violence. The United States and European council members blame Russia, a staunch Syrian ally, and China for the council's inaction. Moscow and Beijing have vetoed three resolutions condemning Assad and reject the idea of imposing sanctions on his government.

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