ANKARA. Troops of the "Islamic state" (IS) have encircled 36 Turkish soldiers in northern Syria.These guard the mausoleum of Süleyman Shah, the grandfather of the first Ottoman sultan, which is the extraterritorial property of Turkey. According to Turkish newspapers there are about 1,100 Islamists deployed.
The grave is located about 30 kilometers south of the heavily contested Kurdish city Kobane.Thousands IS-fighters have been trying for days, to conquer the border city located directly on the Syrian-Turkish border. According to observers they have also employed heavy artillery and tanks. Opposing them are a few hundred Kurdish fighters with light weapons. They are supported by air attacks from the United States and Arab countries.
The Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation, Ali Haidar, meanwhile, stressed that the government in Damascus could not support the Kurds with air strikes because of the proximity to the Turkish border. There was a risk that the machines would then penetrate the Turkish airspace.
Turkey pulls troops together
While the fighting continues, Turkey has begun to assemble troops on their side of the border. As government Turkish newspapers report, nearly 10,000 soldiers and 35 tanks were mobilized. On Thursday the parliament in Ankara will advise about a possible deployment of ground troops in Syria and Iraq.
One suggested solution is also a safety zone in the two countries where Turkish troops take control, to protect the inhabitants from the Islamists. Previously, Turkey has steadfastly refused to intervene against the IS and has even tolerated activities of the terrorist organization in their own country. (Ho)