World Bulletin / News Desk
Rebels belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have threatened Turkey to withdraw its troops from the Suleiman Shah tomb in Aleppo, which is officially Turkish territory.
In a video released on Thursday, ISIL rebels said, "Although the Turkish armed forces are expected to withdraw immediately, we have given a three-day period."
"We ask them to remove the Turkish flag and withdraw the soldiers. We do not give consent to the armed forces of a secular country within the ISIL's sacred land. Otherwise, we will demolish the tomb," the statement said.
ISIL rebels recently took control of the surrounding area after defeating rival opposition group the Free Syrian Army in the mainly ethnic Turkmen region.
The Al-Qaeda breakaway group has a history of attacking and destroying the tombs of prominent figures in Islamic history, including those of spiritual and political leaders.
According to international agreements, the tomb of Suleiman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, is Turkish territory and is protected by Turkish soldiers. An attack on the tomb would be an attack on Turkey itself and an attack on a NATO member country, the Turkish foreign ministry and general staff previously warned.
The Turkish authorities are said to be considering all possibilities after carrying out a comprehensive evaluation and may resort to air attacks to defend the territory, which is 30 kilometers from the mainland.
Just days after President Erdogan's meeting with Rothschild and Jewish leaders in New York, Moody's had downgraded Turkey's rating which has now bounced back
Ankara demands investigation on whereabouts of former prosecutors Zekeriya Oz and Celal Kara
Lindsay Lohan reportedly sobs as she greets paralyzed Syrian refugee in Istanbul
This is an important and positive development for Turkey, Numan Kurtulmus says
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu uses Miami Herald article to say Turkey expects 'full solidarity' from US
Military says airstrike took place in Hakkari province
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif will meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday for the first time since the attempted coup in Turkey in July.
Boris Johnson arrived for his first official visit to Turkey on Sunday
69 Daesh targets in northern Syria have been struck as part of Operation Euphrates Shield, according to military
13-year-old boy succumbs to his wounds suffered in attack on outdoor wedding in southeast
60 Kurdish Regional Government security personnel seriously wounded in the fight against ISIL being treated in Turkey
Mehmet Simsek's comments come after Moody's decision to lower Turkey's credit rating from Baa3 to Ba1
Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies president says 2017 summit to be declared during weekend gathering in Malaysia
One other soldier wounded in anti-terror operations against PKK in southeastern Diyarbakir province