Friends pose for a photograph at coffee shop in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. Syria reached an agreement with the United Nations on Sunday to allow a U.N. team of experts to visit the site of alleged chemical weapons attacks last week outside Damascus, state media said. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says Turkey would take part in an international coalition to move against President Bashar Assad's government if the U.N. failed to come up with sanctions to punish Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons.
In comments published Monday in Milliyet newspaper, Davutoglu said Turkey's priority is to act according to U.N. decisions, but the country would join a coalition if there is no U.N. mandate.
Davutoglu said "36 or 37" countries were already discussing options.
As one of the Assad government's strongest critics, Turkey is backing the Syrian opposition and rebels.
Syria has denied that it used chemical weapons in an attack on rebel positions in a Damascus suburb last week that killed hundreds of people.
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