Erdogan says PKK trying to disrupt Turkey's operation in Syria

September 11, 2016 4:52 AM EDT

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Kurdish militants had been trying to step up their attacks since a failed coup attempt in July and that they had a clear aim of disrupting Turkey's military operations in Syria.

"We see that the PKK terrorist organization has been trying to intensify its activities in our border areas after July 15. These attacks, which have the clear objective of disrupting Turkey's Syria operation, are still ongoing," Erdogan said in a message to mark the Muslim Eid al Adha holiday.

He also said that Turkey had a duty to "finish off" Islamic State in Syria and prevent it from carrying out attacks in Turkey, and that the Turkish military incursion launched two and a half weeks ago was a first step in that ambition.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Nick Tattersall)

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