17:47 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hit out at the Islamic State group, which he said was a virus designed to destroy the Muslim community

    Turkish President Heaps Scorn on ISIL 'Virus'

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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hit out at the Islamic State group, which he said was a "virus" designed to destroy the Muslim community.

    The Islamic State group is a "virus", designed to destroy the Muslim community, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted by media outlets as saying on Wednesday.

    Erdogan's strongest-ever verbal attack on the jihadist group came amid criticism that Ankara is doing little to defend against the Islamic State advance on the Turkish border.

    Speaking after a meeting with Iraqi President Fuad Masum earlier in the day, Erdogan said that Islamic State militants must be confronted.

    The Islamist group "is an important virus that is working to divide and destroy the ummah", Erdogan said, referring to the term used to identify the community of Muslims.

    "An international strategy is essential to drain this swamp. Even if Daesh [ISIL] is destroyed something will emerge under a different name," he added.

    He also stressed the importance of focusing on preventing the Islamic State from being armed and sponsored.

    Turkey has repeatedly denied the accusations that it initially supported the Islamic State as an alleged ally in the fight to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, community, meeting, strategy, virus, Fuad Masum, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
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