Turkey official says border wall with Syria near completion

AP News
Posted: Jan 18, 2017 5:33 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A senior Turkish official says two-thirds of a border wall to prevent infiltration from Syria has been completed, and that authorities had prevented a few attempts to dig tunnels underneath the wall.

Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said Wednesday the entire project would be finished in the next few months.

Turkey has come under criticism in the past for not doing more to control its 900-km (560-mile) borders with Syria after conflict erupted there in 2011.

Formal and informal crossings were used by foreign fighters, including by al-Qaida and Islamic State group operatives, Syrian rebels, refugees and an array of aid workers.

Turkey started erecting a wall in 2014. In August, it launched a military operation to clear IS militants from a strategic border patch.