Turkish Troops traveling in more than 100 tanks and armored personnel carriers entered Syrian territory in an operation to evacuate troops guarding the Tomb of Suleyman Shah, which had been surrounded by ISIS Terrorists.
About 48 Turkish troops had been guarding the mausoleum of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire for the past year.
The besieged troops were relieved today in an operation involvong 600 soldiers.
Suleyman Shah’s sarcophagus was removed to a safe place on Turkey’s border.
The Mausoleum was destroyed to save it from the terrorists.
Terrorist sympathizers surrounded the troops during the operation, shouting slogans at them.
Syrian government has called Turkey’s action an act of “flagrant aggression.”
“The ongoing conflict and state of chaos in Syria posed serious risks to the safety and the security of the tomb,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “and to the Turkish Armed Forces personnel valiantly guarding it.”
But the Islamic State’s control also had geopolitical implications.
The presence of the Turkish troops at the tomb was “an insurance policy” for the Islamic State and the extremist could use the tomb “to stage provocations,” said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Left unsaid was that removing them may allow Turkey to take a more active role in the U.S.-led battle against the Islamic State, if the Turkish government decides. Last week, Turkey and the United States signed a memo of understanding for the joint training of Syrian forces to counter the Islamic State.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davituoglu told reporters this was “an extremely successful operation, with no loss of our rights under international law.”
Under the terms of a treaty signed in 1921 that broke up the Ottoman empire, Turkey was given sovereignty over the tomb on what became Syrian territory. Davituoglu said the tomb would be returned to its former location once conditions allowed.
One Turkish soldier died in an accident during the operation. There was no report of any fighting.
Read more here: www.mcclatchydc.com
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