Turkey would join anti-Syria coalition without UN consensus

Turkey will join an international coalition against neighbouring Syria even if the UN Security Council fails to reach consensus on the issue, its foreign minister said in an interview published on Monday.

"If a coalition is formed against Syria in this process, Turkey will take part in it," Ahmet Davutoglu told the Milliyet newspaper.

UN experts were due to start investigating a suspected Syrian chemical attack on Monday, a day after the Syrian authorities green-lit the inspection.

Syria's opposition says more than 1,300 people died when regime forces unleashed chemical weapons against rebel-held towns east and southwest of Damascus Wednesday. Doctors Without Borders said 355 people had died of "neurotoxic" symptoms.

Damascus has strongly denied it carried out such an attack, instead blaming the rebels.

And a sceptical Washington weighing military action and coordinating with allies said Syria's acceptance of the probe came too late.

Davutoglu, whose country is one of the vocal critics of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, said his country was awaiting the results of the UN inspection.

"After the inspection, the United Nations needs to make a decision on sanctions. If there's no such decision, other options will be on the agenda," the foreign minister said.

"36-37 countries have already been discussing these options," he added.

Turkey, a vocal critic of the Damascus regime, has taken in around 500,000 refugees as well as army defectors and repeatedly called on the international community to act on the crisis.

UNDERSTANDING THE SYRIA CONFLICT