Erdoğan: Finishing off ISIL binding duty
HÜRRİYET photoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated on Sept. 11 his government’s commitment to eliminating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and the threat the group poses to Turkey, saying the struggle against the jihadists was the government’s “obligation to the Turkish people.”
“It is the binding duty before our nation to finish off the organization called Daesh [ISIL] in Syria and ensure it is unable to carry out actions inside our country,” Erdoğan said in a message for the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday, adding that the “Euphrates Shield” operation was the first step in this direction.
Turkey will fight against any group that threatens its survival as a state and a nation, regardless of who stands behind such entities, he stated, noting that Turkey was stronger, more resolute and more dynamic than before the July 15 coup attempt.
“Those who take the road with similar intentions should know that they will face Turkey with its 570,000-man army, 260,000 police officers and 79 million people,” Erdoğan said in his message.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Fetullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) had no chance of resisting against the peoples’ wisdom, Erdoğan said.
“The fate of the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the PYD [Democratic Union Party] will be the same as the PKK’s,” he added.
The PKK has been trying to step up its attacks since July 15 failed coup attempt, he said, adding that they had the clear aim of disrupting Turkey’s military operations in Syria.
“We see that the PKK terrorist organization has been trying to intensify its activities along our border areas since July 15. These attacks, which have the clear objective of disrupting Turkey’s operation in Syria, are continuing,” he said.
“The PKK has suffered a distinct failure in these bloody attacks, which it has conducted at the cost of its most serious losses in its history. The group, which the people of the region openly have an attitude against, is collapsing more each and every day,” the president said.
Last month, Turkey sent tanks across the Syrian border to help putatively moderate rebels retake Jarablus, a key ISIL-held border town, and to contain the expansion of a Syrian Kurdish militia. Turkish jets have conducted several strikes against ISIL targets in Syria since the operation began. But clashes have also reportedly broken out between Turkish and Kurdish forces in the area.
The operation, launched on Aug. 24, came after a string of bloody suicide bombings and rocket attacks inside Turkey blamed on ISIL.
Turkey’s operation is also targeting the PYD and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara regards as the Syrian branch of the PKK.