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Turkey responds with anger to ISIL video

Reporter: Michal Bardavid 丨 CCTV.com

12-24-2016 19:21 BJT

People in Turkey are reacting with horror to a shocking video released by the Islamic State. The video purportedly shows two captured Turkish soldiers being burned alive.  Pro-government news agency Anadolu says Turkish police have arrested 31 ISIL suspects and are hunting for 10 more. It is not clear if the arrests are linked to the video. 

Turkey's military has admitted to losing two soldiers but has not verified the identity of the men in the ISIL video.

It also comes two days after the country suffered a major blow from ISIL as 16 Turkish soldiers were killed by militants near the Syrian town of Al-Bab with attacks that included three suicide bombings.

The Turkish army announced on Friday, it had killed over a dozen ISIL militants including some high ranking in the group with airstrikes. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said civilians had also been killed by Turkish airstrikes in the region recently - while the Turkish government has denied this report.  

On Thursday, the defense minister gave an update on the Euphrates military operation, launched in August-which aims to fight terrorists close to its borders. 

"2,000 square kilometer area was cleansed of terrorists. 225 districts were freed. Until this day within Euphrates Shield operation, 1,005 terrorists from Daesh (Islamic State) terror organization have been neutralized," said Fikri Isik, Turkish defense minister.

"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized that Turkey is going through one of its' hardest periods in the fight against terror and that the only Turkey will overcome this fight against terror is if the country stands together as one united nation."

"Our police, soldiers, town guards and our nation will end this terror together. As long as we become one, stand strong, as brothers, as we all become Turkey. We are one nation - with the Turks, Kurds, Bosniacs, Abhazs all 80 million," said Recap Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish president.

President Erdogan has not commented on ISIL's video so far, while opposition leaders have already been demanding an explanation. If the video is indeed verified and ISIL has burned to death Turkish soldiers an heavy response can be expected by the Turkish government. 

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