Turkey left to fight Islamic State alone, Erdogan says
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday accused the international coalition battling the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria of leaving his country to fight the militants alone on its own soil.
"They have left us alone in our struggle against this organisation which is shedding our blood both through suicide bombings and by attacks on Kilis," he said, referring to a Turkish border town regularly targeted by rockets fired from Syria.
"In Syria none of those who say they are fighting Daesh (IS) have suffered the kind of losses that we have, nor paid such a heavy price as us," said Erdogan, speaking at a film contest in Istanbul.
Turkey is on maximum alert after a series of attacks attributed to IS in recent months, with Ankara and Istanbul among the places targeted
Last summer Turkish forces began carrying out air strikes against the IS across the Syrian border.
The border town of Kilis has come under frequent attack from rockets fired across the border from Syria that have killed at least 21 people, prompting the army to respond with howitzer fire.
Ankara also allows US jets to use its air base in southern Turkey for air strikes on IS.
Turkish forces on Saturday launched a salvo of artillery strikes on northern Syria that killed 55 members of IS, Turkish news agencies reported.
Turkey, a member of NATO and the US-led coalition against IS, has recently appeared to increase its bombardment of Islamic State targets in Syria.