A Syrian minister on Sunday denied accusations that Damascus was behind a bomb attack in a Turkish town that left dozens dead, a day after Ankara blamed supporters of President Bashar al-Assad for the blasts.
"Syria did not commit and would never commit such an act because our values would not allow that," Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said at a press conference broadcast by state television.
"We were saddened by the martyrs' deaths" Saturday in the town of Reyhanli, in southern Turkey and near the Syrian border, said Zohbi.
"It is [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan who should be asked about this act... He and his party bear direct responsibility," he added.
Saturday's attack was the deadliest in Turkey in recent years. It is the latest in a string of attacks in that country since the start of the Syrian conflict more than two years ago.
"The people and the organization who carried out this attack have been identified. We have established that they are linked to groups supporting the Syrian regime and its intelligence services," Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler had said.
Meanwhile, the key opposition group, the Syrian National Council, echoed on Sunday Ankara's accusation that supporters of President Bashar al-Assad's regime were behind the attack.
"The Syrian National Council condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly crimes carried out by collaborators of the Syrian regime in the Turkish town of Reyhanli," said the group, an influential faction within the leading opposition National Council.