President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that there is some progress in sealing the border between Turkey and Syria but there are still some "gaps" exploited by Islamic State militants to bring in foreign fighters and sell oil.
|The 60-mile-long border stretch Obama wants Turkey to close |
Obama said he has had repeated conversations with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan about the issue, including on Tuesday. Source
The US move follows increasing international criticism of Turkey for what is seen as its long-term tolerance of, and possible complicity with, Isis and other extreme jihadi groups such as al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra Front, and Ahrar al-Sham. Not only have thousands of foreign fighters passed through Turkey on their way to join Isis, but crude oil from oilfields seized by Isis in north-east Syria has been transported to Turkey for sale, providing much of revenue of the self-declared Islamic State.
Last week a Turkish court jailed two prominent journalists for publishing pictures of a Turkish truck delivering ammunition to opposition fighters in Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the weapons were destined for Turkmen paramilitaries allied to Turkey fighting in Syria, but this was denied by Turkish political leaders close to the Turkmen.Source