Erdoğan gives assurance to Turkish troops guarding historic tomb in Syria
ANKARAPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a special Eid-al-Adha message on Oct. 3 to the Turkish soldiers guarding the Süleyman Şah tomb in Syria’s heavily jihadist-controlled area, vowing that the Turkish army would not hesitate to provide immediate support in the event of an attack.
Erdoğan’s message followed one released by Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, who assured soldiers they were not alone.
Erdoğan told the troops the people and their prayers were with them. “The Turkish Armed Forces will not hesitate to rush to your aid without delay,” Erdoğan said. He called the soldiers guarding the tomb “heroes” and thanked them for their service and sacrifice.
“The state of the Republic of Turkey will not hesitate to mobilize its entire means to protect even the tiniest piece of our land,” he said.
The tomb has recently come into the spotlight as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) made incursions into the region, according to both Turkish and U.S. officials.
According to international agreements, the tomb, nearly 40 kilometers inside Syrian territory, is considered Turkish territory. The site is guarded by a symbolic unit from the Turkish Land Forces Command.