Turkish-Syrian borders. File photo
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Istanbul, Turkey – The Turkish authorities are preparing the establishment of a buffer zone near the Syrian and Iraqi border, according to official sources.
The Turkish President Recp Tayyip Erdogan was quoted by media personnel on Tuesday saying that the Turkish army intends to create a buffer zone along the Turkish borders with Syria and Iraq, in order to counter the threat of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot group.
In related developments, the Turkish government announced that it will not participate in the expected international military action against IS. Ankara justified its position saying it wants to protect the lives of 49 Turkish citizens held by IS militants in Iraq since last June.
In this regard, the Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said: “We are not ready yet to take action against IS, fearing for our kidnapped citizens in Iraq.”
During his visit to Qatar, Erdogan told reporters that the Turkish intelligence has been working for three months to achieve the release of the Turkish citizens abducted by the Islamic State’s militants in Iraq.
He also added that his country would provide all necessary humanitarian support for the U.S.-led anti-IS international coalition, which is expected to hit militants in Iraq and Syria.
Reporting by: Mohammed Nasser
Source: ARA News