President Obama expresses support for Turkey in aftermath of attack

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WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – President Obama and other key U.S. officials responded to Tuesday’s terrorist attack on the Istanbul airport by expressing their condolences and reaffirming American support for Turkish anti-terrorism efforts.

Three suicide bombers carried out the attack that killed 41 people and injured 239, Turkish officials said. Turkish and U.S. intelligence officials said they believe ISIS is responsible for attack.

President Obama spoke with Turkish President Erdogan Wednesday morning, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

“This morning, the president was on the phone with President Erdogan of Turkey,” Earnest said. “The president placed that phone call to express his deep condolences on behalf of the American people. In the context of that call he will offer any support that the Turks can benefit from as they conduct this investigation and take steps to further strengthen the security,” said Earnest.

Secretary of State John Kerry told the Aspen Institute Tuesday night that ISIS’ insistence on attacking soft targets is emblematic of their weakening stature.

“And if you’re desperate and if you know you are losing, and you know you want to give up your life, then obviously you can do some harm,” Kerry said.

However, Kerry also said he is not completely certain ISIS was responsible for the Istanbul attack.

“We are still collecting information and trying to ascertain what happened and who did it,” Kerry said.

House Select Intelligence ranking member Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) visited Turkey last July to discuss improving the coordination of joint anti-terrorism efforts in the fight against ISIS. After the attacked he tweeted his condolences.

Swalwell’s spokesperson did not respond to emails and calls requesting further comment.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee told TMN that the Istanbul attack and the rise of ISIS are the direct result of President Obama’s failed foreign policy initiatives.

“This is the logical conclusion of another episode of the failed leadership on the part of the President of the United States,” McCain said. “It’s not like a hurricane or a forest fire; its because the President has failed to lead.” And when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, Al-Qaeda became ISIS, ISIS grew, and now we are seeing the results of that.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the U.S. rightly sympathizes with the victims of the attack and that the tragedy might result in reinvigorated American-Turkish relations. He also said Islamist governments need to step up to the plate and do a better job of combatting terrorism.

“I think that obviously first our sympathy goes towards those who were killed and injured,” Paul said. “But I think really it should bring more solidarity between us and Turkey and that throughout the Middle East-particularly the Islamic governments in the Middle East-need to realize this is a problem that they need to stand up to and that they need to be a help and not a hindrance in trying to figure out a resolution to the civil war.”

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News 

 

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