Erdogan: Why did Russia enter Georgia and Ukraine?
As many as 18 IS militants were killed in the attack on the Bashiqa camp in Nineveh province, about 140 kilometers (90 miles) from the Turkish border, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters, Today’s Zaman reported.
There was no casualty among the Turkish troops, he said.
Erdogan said the incident vindicated a Turkish decision to deploy troops in the camp and reiterated that the Turkish deployment had been in coordination with the Iraqi government despite recent Iraqi protests against the Turkish military presence.
Erdogan said the Iraqi position has changed after Turkey’s relations with Russia deteriorated following the downing of a Russian jet by Turkish F-16s near the border with Syria in late November and criticized the Russian military involvement in Syria.
“Russia says it is in Syria because it was invited by the Syrian government. The Syrian government is not a legitimate government,” he said. “Why did you send forces to Georgia then? Because you were invited? Did you send forces to Ukraine because you were invited there?”
Erdogan also rejected that Russian forces are fighting IS in Syria. “Turkmens say Russia bombs their villages. Russia is not fighting against IS,” he said.
“Yesterday, I received Bayirbucak Turkmens, they said that their village is under constant bombardment. Unfortunately, this is the situation, but they are trying to mislead the world community,” he noted.
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