Turkey, World

Turkey cannot 'backtrack' on terror says MHP leader

Nationalist Movement Party head Devlet Bahceli says, despite casualties, Turkey must remove Daesh from Syrian strongholds

22.12.2016
Turkey cannot 'backtrack' on terror says MHP leader

Ankara

By Baris Gundogan

ANKARA

Cleaning Syria's Al-Bab city of Daesh is a must, Turkey's nationalist opposition party leader said on Thursday.

The removal of Daesh is a "crucial" necessity, not only to provide peace and stability for war-torn Syria, but also to dismiss the threat it poses to Turkey's national security, according to a statement from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahceli.

Offering condolences to the families of the 16 Turkish soldiers martyred in Wednesday’s clashes with Daesh in Al-Bab, Bahceli also wished a quick recovery to the 31 injured.

However, Bahceli said countering terrorism should be carried out whatever the cost.

"There is no other way left," Bahceli added. "It is out of question to backtrack from this hard and inconvenient way."

According to the MHP leader, the growing crisis in Syria has been dragging Turkey into deepening chaos and threatens the country's national security.

Bahceli's statement comes after 16 Turkish soldiers were martyred while capturing Al-Bab -- a strategic city for Daesh in southeastern Aleppo province -- as part of the Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield, according to Defense Minister Fikri Isik.

The operation aims at improving security, supporting coalition forces and eliminating the terror threat along Turkey’s border using Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish armor, artillery and jets.

Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which had erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.

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