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Turkey backs removal of Assad regime

Speaking live on TV, Turkey's foreign minister evaluates latest developments

Turkey backs the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Turkish foreign minister said on Monday.

"We have no hesitation on the removal of Assad," Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a live TV interview.

CNN reported on Thursday that U.S. President Barack Obama was calling for a review of his nation's Syria policy, after realizing that ISIL could not be defeated unless Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was also removed.

Saying that Turkey has no serious differences of opinion with the U.S., Cavusoglu continued by saying "a clear policy on how to remove Assad has not arisen."

Cavusoglu added that the U.S. is hesitative to carry out a military operation in Syria.

The U.S. is leading an international coalition, which includes France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia, and has carried out numerous airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq and Syria.

ISIL militants have captured several cities in Iraq, including the country’s second-largest city Mosul, which was seized last June.

Cavusoglu said "Without having a comprehensive policy, it is not possible to destroy this terrorist organization."

Humanitarian aid

Amid relentless fighting, regime bombardments and ISIL attacks concentrated in the northern parts of the country, an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, including some 190,000 from Syria's border town of Kobani, have sought shelter in camps across Turkey.

"We have spent more than 4.5 billion USD so far," Cavusoglu said.

Criticizing those who have said Turkey is doing nothing, Cavusoglu added: "We provide all kinds of contributions, but we shoulder the entire burden alone."