Turkey arrests 23 people near Syrian border before joining ISIS

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Turkish tanks and armored vehicles patrol the border with Syria. File photo

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey – On Monday, the Turkish army patrols arrested 23 people in separate areas near the Syrian border, saying they were on their way to join the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS).

The Turkish authorities didn’t reveal the identities of the detainees. 

Also, the testimony of a Turkish citizen in countryside of Ankara confirmed before the Turkish parliament that the detained people were intending to enter Syrian territory to join the radical group of IS, the Turkish news agency Cihan reported.

According to a statement issued by the Turkish army leadership on Monday, a Turkish army patrol stopped the cars carrying 20 people from different nationalities, who were on their way to cross the border into IS-held Syrian areas, based on intelligence informationــ near the village of Aşağı Biler Bay of the city of Kilis on the Syrian border. 

The Turkish army leadership announced that they arrested a German man on the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep state on Sunday, who was trying to cross the border to join the IS group, and two other people were arrested near the town of Agca Kalla near the Syrian city of Tel Abyad while trying to cross the border.

The Army’s leadership pointed out that these two young men were carrying weapons and military equipment.

“The Turkish people’s concerns mounted recently about the ‘brainwashing cases’ taking place in Turkey, aimed at attracting youngsters to join the IS’ ranks,” Turkish journalist Mehmet Ozbelek told ARA News. “Many of them are being transferred by buses to the Syrian border.” 

Speaking to ARA News, civil rights activist Abdo Baqi reported that aside from those who have been arrested, there are dozens and hundreds of militants who cross these borders, without being questioned by the Turkish authorities.

“If Turkey did not allow the extremists enter from its borders to Syria, the Kurdish areas would have not suffered during the past four years,” he argued.

The Turkish opposition activists and Syrian media workers accuse the Turkish government of being soft on the issue of militants crossing from Turkey into Syrian territory.

 

Reporting by: Jean Nasro

Source: ARA News

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