Turkey says border region with Syria must be 'completely cleansed' of ISIS

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks at a conference in Ankara on Aug 12, 2016.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks at a conference in Ankara on Aug 12, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

ANKARA (Reuters/AFP) - Turkey's border region with Syria must be "completely cleansed" of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Ankara continues to support operations in the fight against the militants, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday (Aug 22).

Mr Cavusoglu was speaking to reporters at a news conference after holding talks with his Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkevicius."Our border must be completely cleansed from Daesh," Mr Cavusoglu said in televised remarks, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS. "It is our most natural right to fight at home and abroad against such a terrorist organisation."

Syrian rebels are preparing to launch an attack to seize the Syrian town of Jarablus from ISIS on the border with Turkey, a senior rebel said on Sunday, in a move that would frustrate Kurdish hopes to expand in the area.

Turkey said ISIS sent a child as young as 12 laden with explosives into a wedding party late on Saturday and killed 53 people.