ISTANBUL: Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vowed Friday Turkey would continue operations against Islamic State (IS) militants and Kurdish militants after it bombed IS targets in Syria and made nearly 300 arrests.
“The operations that were started today are not a single event but a process,” Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara in televised comments.
Davutoglu said 297 people, including 37 foreigners, had been arrested in nationwide raids against suspected members of IS, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and other militant groups.
Earlier, Turkish air force jets had launched their first strikes on IS positions in Syria, following a suicide bombing in Turkey blamed on the Islamist group that claimed 32 lives.
Davutoglu said that the warplanes had been “100 percent” successful in eliminating their targets.
“Whichever terrorist organisation poses a threat to the borders of the Turkish Republic, measures will be taken without hesitation,” said Davutoglu. “No-one should have any doubt.”
“We are observing activity in Syria and on the border at every moment. Turkey will show the strongest reaction to the slightest movement that threatens it.”
“The operation against IS reached its target and will not stop,” he added.
Davutoglu meanwhile dismissed suggestions that the Turkish government had warned the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad — which Ankara vehemently opposes — of the strikes.
He said there was “no question” of Turkey becoming a party in Syria’s civil war but insisted Ankara would take “all measures to protect its borders”