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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Turkey's Erdogan says to continue measures against border threats
May 3, 2017 / 2:57 PM / 7 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Turkey's Erdogan says to continue measures against border threats

(changes Turkey to Syria in second para)

ISTANBUL, May 3 (Reuters) - Turkey will continue to take measures against threats from its southern borders with Syria and Iraq, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

Erdogan, speaking at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a meeting in the Black Sea city of Sochi, said he believed Putin would play a major role in establishing a ceasefire in Syria.

Erdogan said Turkey considered the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which the United States supports as an ally against Islamic State militants, as no different from the radical Sunni group.

“We do not differentiate between terrorist organisations. Daesh, YPG, Al Qaeda are all the same for us,” Erdogan said, in comments broadcast live on television. Daesh is an Arabic name for the Islamic State militant group.

“It is our mutual responsibility to scrape away their roots,” he said.

Erdogan has repeatedly criticised the United States for its support of the YPG in the fight against Islamic State. Turkey sees the group as a extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has carried out a three-decade insurgency in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast.

Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes against Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria and Iraq’s Sinjar region last month in an unprecedented bombardment of groups affiliated with the militant PKK. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Tom Heneghan)

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