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Erdogan vows fight against ISIL, Kurds in Syria

Reporter: Natalie Carney 丨 CCTV.com

08-29-2016 09:52 BJT

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the country's pursuit of militant groups would be unrelenting. Turkey launched a two-pronged offensive against ISIL and Kurdish militia in Syria on Wednesday. But as our correspondent Natalie Carney reports, people fear the move may complicate the situation in Syria and at home.

Thousands cheered as the Turkish President repeated his vow to eliminate the threat of terrorism along Turkey's border with Syria.

A week earlier a suicide bomb rocked Gaziantep-killing more than 50 people at a wedding party. Erdogan blamed ISIL for the attack….but Turkey also has another target.

"We will give every support to efforts to cleanse ISIL from Syria and Iraq. That's why we are present in Jarablus. That's why we are present in Bashiqa. We will not avoid taking responsibilities in other regions if necessary. We have the same resolve (to wipe out) the separatist PYD's Syria wing. Our struggle will continue until we root out this terrorist organization," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Turkey says earlier in the day, and just kilometers away, Turkish fighter jets killed 25 YPG Kurdish militants. A Syrian monitoring group says 35 civilians also died in Turkish air and artillery strikes in the same area.

On Saturday, one Turkish soldier was killed and three others wounded in rocket attack on Turkish tanks just south of Jarablus. Turkey blames the attack on the YPG.
The latest face off with the Kurdish YPG forces only embroils Turkey further in Syria's civil war. Back in Turkey many fear the negative consequences of this operation on the country's security.

Assaults on Turkish soil have intensified since Ankara began its campaign in Syria.

On Saturday, rockets hit a police checkpoint outside the airport at Diyarbakir-the major city in southeastern Turkey. Turkey officials suspect Kurdish militants were responsible.

Days earlier the Kurdistan Worker's Party, the PKK, claimed responsibility for a deadly explosion at a police station - also in southeastern Turkey - that killed 11 police officers and wounded scores more.

"Any one of us, at any time, could be attacked in our country, because when we are fighting them, they will attack us with everything they got, with their last will. They could do everything. I"m uncomfortable about our safety," said Bekir Arslan, Gaziantep resident.

"Certainly, it will increase threats to Turkey, but we cannot retreat in fear that it will happen. If we don't end the entity, I believe there will be even bigger problems in the future," said Cerkez Yilmaz, Gaziantep resident.

The Syrian government has called Turkey's incursion into Syria a blatant violation of its sovereignty.

Turkey considers Operation Euphrates Shield a necessary defensive action to prevent terrorism attacks staged from Kurdish, as well as ISIL strongholds in Syria.

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