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Turkey may dispatch troops to Syria if necessary: Davutoglu

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (AFP)

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday Ankara is ready to dispatch ground troops to Syria "if necessary" as rocket fire from the Daesh-held territories north of the Arab country keeps claiming lives in Turkey.

"We are ready to take all measures that we need, both inside Turkey and outside, to provide for our own security," Davutoglu said, adding, "If it becomes necessary, then we will send the ground forces."

Turkish officials recently claimed that rockets fired from across the border with Syria killed one person in the border town of Kilis. The total death from similar attacks, which the Turkish government blames on the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, has now risen to 20.

Turkey has responded to the attacks by firing its own rockets. Ankara also contributes to airstrikes by the so-called international coalition which uses the Incirlik base in the south of Turkey for strikes on Daesh. Officials have repeatedly threatened that Turkey could act on its own and send ground troops to Syria, but they have stopped short of doing that.

“… We still prefer an international consensus. As IS (Daesh) is an issue that concerns the whole world,” said Davutoglu in response to questions whether Turkey could act unilaterally against Daesh.

Allies of Turkey in NATO have repeatedly asked for more engagement by Turkey in their alleged anti-Daesh drive.

Syria, which accuses Turkey of having a major hand in the militancy in the Arab country, has warned in the past that any Turkish boots on the ground in Syria would be regarded as a clear aggression and violation of the Syrian sovereignty.

The Arab country has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, according to De Mistura.

Damascus accuses Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar of funding and arming anti-Syria terrorist groups, including Daesh.

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