Washington, 16 Jumadil Akhir 1437/ 25 March 2016 (MINA) – After being criticized for not showing the same respect for Turkey’s terror victims as it did for Brussels or Paris, the U.S. named the sites of recent attacks.
“Paris, Beirut, Bamako, Grand Bassam, Ankara, Istanbul and now Brussels, the attacks in all these places and on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria underscore the nature of the threat that we are facing,” said State Department spokesman Mark Toner, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
He reiterated the attacks reinforced the U.S.’s determination to work closely with allies such as Turkey and other partners to defeat Daesh and other terrorists.
Toner’s statement comes a day after the Obama administration drew criticisms for lowering U.S. flags to half-staff following attacks in Brussels but not affording the same honor to victims of similar attacks in Turkey.
Assistant Secretary of State Tony Blinken and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass paid their respects at the site of the deadly March 13 terrorist bombing in Ankara, according to Toner.
The visit was part of Blinken’s visit to the country earlier this week. An interagency delegation led by Blinken and Turkish Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Feridun Sinirlioglu met in the Turkish capital to discuss joint efforts to combat terrorism, support a political transition in Syria and to strengthen regional security.
Blinken also met separately with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss a range of topics in their country’s bilateral relationship, Toner said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s said Wednesday that Turkey had deported one of the attackers involved in the Brussels attacks.
In addition to the deportation, Belgium was warned that Belgian national Ibrahim El-Bakraoui, captured in Turkey’s southeastern Gaziantep province in 2015, was a foreign militant. The Turkish Foreign Ministry also informed the Belgian and Dutch authorities of his expulsion.
He added that the U.S. would continue with Belgium and other allies “to better improve passenger screening, security checks” and everything “that can help tighten up the net”. (T/P010/R07)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)