Turkish army ‘evacuates’ tiny Syrian enclave

The convoy, which included tanks, passed through Kobane, the city that Kurdish fighters retook last month from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The convoy, which included tanks, passed through Kobane, the city that Kurdish fighters retook last month from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).


A Turkish convoy has completed an operation in Syria to evacuate the garrison at a tiny enclave where the tomb of the forefather of the Ottoman empire stands, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing two unnamed senoir Turkish officials.

Despite the operation – launched late on Saturday – being “successful,” one Turkish solider was killed in an accident, according to Reuters.

The Turkish government said late last year that ISIS militants were advancing on the mausoleum.

The convoy, which included tanks, passed through Kobane, the city that Kurdish fighters retook last month from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the BBC reported.

They were more numerous and more heavily armed than usual because of recent fighting between the Kurdish militia and Syrian rebel groups against ISIS.

The operation, which was coordinated with the Kurds, is not a mission against ISIS, according to the BBC.

In 2012, Turkey issued a warning that it will consider any assault on the 8,000 square-meter area of the tomb of Suleyman Shah, in Syria, as an attack on its territory.

The tomb is guarded by 40 Turkish soldiers and is considered Turkish territory, based on agreements made first with France and then with Syria.

Suleyman Shah was the grandfather of Osman Bey, the founder of the Ottoman Empire that dominated the Arab world until the end of the First World War.

ISIS and other Islamist groups, whose strict Salafi interpretation of Islam deems the veneration of tombs to be idolatrous, have destroyed several tombs and mosques in Syria.


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