Erdogan rebukes West for lack of support in fight against ISIS

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticises Western countries over the lack of support for Turkey's struggle against the Islamic State.

ANKARA, TURKEY (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan took a swipe at Ankara's Western allies on Sunday (May 8) for failing to support Turkey in its fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"None of those who claim to fight against Daesh in Syria have neither inflicted as many losses on it as we have, nor have they paid as big a price as we have," Mr Erdogan said using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

''They left us alone in our struggle against this group that hurts us with suicide bombings and attacks on Kilis," he added.

His remarks came as Turkish shelling killed 55 ISIS insurgents in northern Syria on Saturday (May 7) in retaliation for weeks of rocket attacks on a Turkish border town.

Artillery fire hit the regions of Suran and Tal El Hisn north of Aleppo, as well as Baragidah and Kusakcik, taking out three rocket installations and three vehicles in addition to killing militants, the sources said on Sunday.

The Turkish border town of Kilis, which lies just across the frontier from ISIS-controlled territory in Syria, has been regularly struck by rockets in recent weeks, killing about 20 people and wounding 70 more, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

The Turkish military usually responds with artillery barrages into northern Syria, but officials have said it is difficult to hit mobile ISIS targets with howitzers. Turkish officials have said they need more help from Western allies in defending Kilis and the border.

"Those who played the three monkeys when Turkey opened its heart and borders to the oppressed, shut their doors immediately once this became a concern for them. They don't have mercy. They don't have justice. They have dictatorship. They have tyranny.

"Even though we proposed to solve the crux of the problem and eliminate the reasons that force people to migrate by establishing safe zones in Syria, they continued to avoid the matter," Mr Erdogan told an awards ceremony in Istanbul.

Kilis is about 60km north of Aleppo - Syria's embattled, biggest city and a big prize in the more than five-year-old civil war - and is sheltering about 110,000 Syrian refugees.