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Turkey Vows To Continue Strikes In Syria Despite Istanbul Attack

People carry the coffin of Yunus Gormek, 23, one of the victims of the Reina nightclub attack, during his funeral ceremony in Istanbul on January 2.

Turkey says it will press on with its military campaign in Syria striking at Kurdish and Islamic State (IS) targets despite this weekend's attack on an Istanbul nightclub.

"We will carry on our cross-border operations...and with determination," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on January 2, calling the nightclub attack that killed 39 people "a message" from the IS group.

"Wherever it needs to go, we will continue these operations until these terror organizations no longer remain a threat to Turkey," Kurtulmus told reporters in Ankara.

IS claimed responsibility for the nightclub killings by a lone gunman -- the latest in a growing number of deadly attacks in Turkey -- and said it was in response to Ankara's intervention in Syria, which began in August.

"Let infidel Turkey know that the blood of Muslims that is being shed by its air strikes and artillery shelling will turn into fire on its territories," IS said.

Kurtulmus said the militant group also wanted to undermine Turkey's efforts with Russia to lay the groundwork for peace in Syria by brokering a nationwide cease-fire that excludes IS.

But he said Turkey will not be deterred from achieving that goal as well.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP