Turkey only country fighting three terrorist groups at the same time, PM says

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 24.02.2017 14:53
Updated 24.02.2017 14:55
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Turkey is the only country that is actively fighting against the Daesh terrorists in Syria, as well as other terrorist organizations, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Friday.

Speaking at an opening ceremony of environmental projects in Ankara, Yıldırım said the world was pretending to fight against the terror group, while Turkey was doing the actual fight.

"Show me a country in the world that is fighting against three terrorist organizations at the same time" Yıldırım said.

He said Turkey has resolved the issue of Daesh-held al-Bab, a strategic town in northern Syria where Turkish-military backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces are now said to be in control.

"Life is returning to normal there," he added.

On Thursday, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said FSA fighters took control of "almost all" of al-Bab as part of the ongoing Operation Euphrates Shield.

The Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield aims to provide security, support U.S.-led coalition forces, and eliminate presence of terrorists along Syria's northern border with Turkey.

The operation, which began last summer, relies heavily on FSA fighters backed by Turkish artillery and air support.

Yıldırım also noted Turkey continues to host around three million refugees while it rescued 50,000 people from drowning on their way to the Aegean islands in the last five years.

He added: "We are fighting simultaneously against PKK, Daesh and the Gülenist Terror Group [FETÖ]."

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its armed campaign in July 2015 and since then has been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,100 security personnel and civilians, including women and children.

Ankara accused FETÖ, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, for orchestrating last year's coup attempt against Turkey's democratically-elected government, which left at least 248 killed in its wake and some 2,200 others injured.

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