Turkey vows to cleanse border of Islamic State militants

Turkey vows to cleanse border of Islamic State militants

Monday, August 22, 2016 3:58 pm

President Erdogan: blames ISIS for attack

President Erdogan: blames ISIS for attack

The Turkish government has vowed to completely wipe out Islamic State militants from its border region.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, made the vow on Monday after a suspected suicide bomber with links to the group killed 54 people, including 22 children, at a Kurdish wedding.

President Tayyip Erdogan said that initial evidence pointed to Islamic State militants.

Saturday’s attack in the Southeastern city of Gaziantep is the deadliest in Turkey this year. It was carried out by a suicide bomber aged between 12 a14.

A senior security official said that the device used was the same type as those employed in the July 2015 suicide attack in the border town of Suruc.

He added that it was also similar to the Oct. 2015 suicide bombing of a rally of pro-Kurdish activists in Ankara.

“Both of those attacks were blamed on Islamic State; the group has targeted Kurdish gatherings in an apparent effort to further inflame ethnic tensions already strained by a long Kurdish insurgency.

“The Ankara bombing was the deadliest of its kind in Turkey, killing more than 100 people.

“Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

A senior rebel official said that Turkish-backed Syrian rebels were preparing to launch attack to seize the Syrian town of Jarablus from Islamic State on the border with Turkey.

He said that the move would deny control to advancing Syrian Kurdish fighters.

The rebels, groups fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, were expected to assault Jarablus from inside Turkey in the next few days.

Cavusoglu said that Turkey, a member of NATO and the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, had become the number one target for the militants.

The Islamic State is not the only threat lurking across Turkish frontier.

The government is also concerned that attempts by Syrian Kurds to extend their control along the common border could add momentum to insurgency by Kurds on its own territory. (Reuters/NAN)

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