Turkey to do ‘what is necessary’ amid Syria operation

Turkey will do “what is necessary” for its own citizens and the Syrian people, Health Minister Recep Akdag said Thursday, reported Anadolu Agency.

Speaking at Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk, the minister said the Turkish military’s Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria had been “very successful”.

“Turkey, as a mighty country in the region, will of course do what is necessary for its citizens and the Syrian people,” Akdag said.

The operation was launched early Wednesday when artillery and airstrikes were followed by Turkish tanks crossing the border to target Daesh in support of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters.

Akdag said being so close to Turkey’s border, Daesh posed a “great danger” to the country.

“Of course, we have to protect our borders against the attacks of terrorist groups,” Akdag said.

Akdag said a number of injured FSA members were taken to hospitals in Turkey. He added there were no casualties from the Turkish army.

Three FSA members were taken early Thursday to Kilis Hospital in Turkey after they were injured in a clash in the northern Syrian city of Jarabulus, a health source told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

The operation is in line with the country’s right to self-defense borne out of international treaties and a mandate given to Turkey’s armed forces by parliament in 2014, which was extended for another year in Sep. 2015.

Since January, rocket attacks on the Turkish province of Kilis from Daesh-held territory in Syria have killed at least 21 people while terrorist attacks in Gaziantep blamed on Daesh include Saturday’s suicide bombing of a wedding that killed 54 and a car bomb attack in May that martyred two police officers.