ANKARA : Türkiye neutralized al-Qurayshi, the so-called leader of Daesh/ISIS terrorist organization, during an operation in Syria on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced.
“The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) had been following the so-called leader of Daesh, code-named Abu Hussein al-Qurayshi, for a long time.
“This is the first time I am telling this here. This person was neutralized in an operation carried out by the MIT yesterday,” Erdogan said in a live interview on Turkish broadcaster TRT Turk on Sunday.
“We will continue our struggle with terrorist organizations without any discrimination,” he added.
In 2013, Türkiye became one of the first countries to declare Daesh/ISIS a terrorist organization.
The country has since been attacked by the terror group multiple times, with over 300 people killed and hundreds more injured in at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed assaults.
In response, Türkiye launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.
– ‘Racism, Islamophobia, discrimination on rise in West’
Erdogan said racism, Islamophobia, and discrimination are spreading in the West “like cancer cells,” adding: “Western countries have not yet demonstrated efforts for confronting this threat.”
Hate speech and attacks targeting Muslims and the mosques abroad are also increasing, he stressed.
“Vile acts by racist groups, such as arson against mosques and tearing up the holy Quran, have also increased … We take every step to ensure the safety of life and property of our citizens,” Erdogan said.
Recent months have seen several acts of Quran burning, or attempts to do so, by Islamophobic figures or groups in northern Europe and Nordic countries.
Turning to murders by neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) group, Erdogan said Türkiye will be following it. “If deemed necessary, we have to file all kinds of suits in international courts, from material to moral compensation, to obtain results,” he added.
The far-right terrorist group NSU killed eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek citizen, and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007, but the cases remained long unsolved to date. — AA