President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday vowed once again to combat terrorism at home and abroad, saying Syria’s Al–Bab was almost free of Daesh terrorists as result of a Turkish army operation with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Speaking at the opening ceremony of Turkey’s first ever floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) in the Aliaga district of the western Izmir province, Erdogan spoke about the recent development in Syria.
“Al–Bab is almost free, our armed forces together with the FSA will take the region soon,” he said. “We will fight terrorism not only at home, but abroad also.”
He went on to say Turkey was maintaining diplomatic ties with Russia, the U.S., Iran and Iraq as well as the Gulf countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
“We are coordinating with coalition forces,” he added.
Drawing on recent terror attacks in Turkey, Erdogan added: “Recent attacks target [our] stability and secured environment. We will not be deceived by those trying to limit Turkey through instability and insecurity, by diverting Turkey’s focus away from investment, development, and progress. We know their games.”
Daesh’s military headquarters in Al–Bab destroyed
Turkish General Staff said in a statement that 18 Daesh terrorists were neutralized in Al–Bab. The terror group’s military headquarters was also destroyed.
In an earlier statement, the Turkish military said 22 Daesh terrorists were also “neutralized” in Al–Bab. According to the military, 51 Daesh targets were hit and 37 buildings, including those used for accommodation, weapon emplacement and defense purposes, three armories and one logistics center were destroyed in the city alone.
The Turkish military usually uses the term neutralized to refer to dead or injured or captured terrorists.
The Turkish army supports the Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters to liberate Al–Bab from Daesh, a strategic city for the terrorist group. Friday marks the 122nd day since the city was surrounded in order to liberate it.
The operation is part of the Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield which began in late Aug. to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along Turkey’s border using FSA fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.
Since the launch of the Operation Euphrates Shield, the Turkish explosive ordnance disposal teams neutralized 2,208 handmade explosives and 42 mines in areas cleaned from Daesh.
As of Thursday, the Turkish defense minister said over 1,000 Daesh terrorists have been killed since the beginning of the Euphrates Shield operation.