In response, speaking to reporters in Ankara late on Wednesday after his one-day visit to Moscow, Erdoğan accused the Syrian administration of “disinformation.”
“No one can accuse us of resorting to such methods in the country where our Syrian brothers live. Furthermore, no one can say that we took such a step. … The statements by the information minister are unacceptable,” he said.
Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said responsibility for the Damascus bombing “falls directly in the hands of the Arab and Western governments, their intelligence agencies and their spies.” He said all countries that have sent “even one bullet to Syria” are responsible.
Zoabi added that the bombing was orchestrated by Turkish, Qatari, Saudi Arabian and Israeli intelligence and will not go unanswered. “Those countries that have sent even one dollar [to opposition forces] are responsible … and they will all be punished,” he said after the bombing.
Syrian opposition forces detonated a bomb at the site of a high-level crisis meeting in Damascus, killing three leaders of the regime, including President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law. Also killed in the blast were Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha (65), a former army general and the most senior government official to be killed in the rebels' battle to oust Assad; Gen. Assef Shawkat (62), the deputy defense minister, who is married to Assad's elder sister, Bushra, and is one of the most feared figures in the inner circle, and Hassan Turkmani (77), a former defense minister.