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The Interview

Erdogan: 'Turkey may provide logistical support to Saudi-led operation in Yemen'

Turkey could provide "logistical" support to the Saudi-led operation against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told FRANCE 24 in an exclusive interview on Thursday. "We support Saudi Arabia's intervention," Erdogan told Marc Perelman, while slamming Tehran's involvement in the region.

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"Turkey may consider providing logistical support based on the evolution of the situation," Erdogan said of the Saudi-led military mission in Yemen, launched overnight on Thursday amid a worsening security situation in the country.

Erdogan added that "Iran and the terrorist groups must withdraw from Yemen". The Turkish president, who is expected to visit Iran in early April, expressed his concerns about the growing Iranian influence in the region. "Iran is trying to dominate the whole region in its own way and these developments are not the right kind of developments”, he regretted.

Erdogan reaffirmed his opinion that boots on the ground would be needed in Iraq to overcome the Islamic State group.

"I have already said that I find the coalition air strikes to be insufficient. A ground intervention will be necessary to overcome Daesh", he said, using the Arabic acronym for the group.

Erdogan said the Islamic State group was a "terrorist group" which "has nothing to do with Islam and is not a state".

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