Syria condemns Turkey tomb operation as 'flagrant aggression'
Iran Press TV
Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:40PM
The Syrian government has denounced the Turkish army's recent operation in the Syrian territory as an act of "flagrant aggression."
"Turkey is not satisfied with merely giving all kinds of support to its puppets Daesh (ISIL), (al-Qaeda affiliate) the al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups," read a Syrian Foreign Ministry statement carried on the state news agency, SANA, on Sunday, adding, "It even carried out... a flagrant aggression against Syrian territory."
Damascus holds Ankara responsible for the repercussions of the operation, the statement added.
Late Saturday, Turkish ground troops supported by warplanes entered the Syrian territory in an alleged attempt to evacuate the garrison guarding the Ottoman tomb of Suleyman Shah, which was surrounded by Takfiri ISIL militants.
The tomb was located just over the border near the Kurdish town of Kobani, which was recently liberated from the ISIL.
Speaking in a news conference later on Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his country had already informed its allies in the so-called anti-ISIL coalition of the operation.
'We had given the Turkish armed forces a directive to protect our spiritual values and the safety of our armed forces personnel,' he said, adding, 'Countries which do not look after their historic symbols cannot build their future.'
The Turkish prime minister also stated that the operation 'was an extremely successful operation with no loss to our rights under international law.'
Media reports also said one soldier was killed during the offensive, which also saw moving the tomb into Turkey. The Turkish army released a statement saying the soldier lost his life in an "accident" en route to the tomb.
Around 40 soldiers, including 20 elite troops from the Turkish special forces, were said to be guarding the tomb of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire.
Reports said 700 elite Turkish troops were involved in the Sunday offensive.
Turkey's Premier Ahmet Davutoglu, who was previously the country's foreign minister, said in March 2014 that Ankara would take all necessary measures to protect the security of the tomb, which is considered Turkish territory based on an accord signed between Turkey and France in 1921.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|