BEIRUT

Middle East

Turkey says no Turkish military strike against IS

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C), Turkish military Chief of Staff General Necdet Ozel (2nd R) and Turkish National Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz (L) visit the mausoleum of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk prior to a meeting of the High Military Council in Ankara, on August 4, 2014. AFP photo/stringer

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's defense minister says it is out of the question for Turkey to launch a military intervention against Islamic State fighters in Iraq, and that his country was not involved in U.S. airstrikes against the extremists near the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil.

In a statement released by the ministry Saturday, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said his country had not provided "any support to the U.S. so far." He cited Turkey's responsibility toward 49 Turkish citizens taken hostage by the IS from the Turkish consulate in Mosul in June. The hostages include diplomatic staff, special forces police and children.

Due to this, Yilmaz said, "it is impossible for us to do anything different."

 

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