Militants of the Islamic State (ISIS). File photo
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URFA – Turkish authorities have arrested some 50 foreign suspects in Istanbul before heading to Syria and Iraq to join the extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS) there, a security official said.
“Special forces arrested Saturday evening at least 50 foreigners in the city of Istanbul, who were planning to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq,” the Counter-terrorism Directorate of Istanbul Security Branch said Sunday in a press statement.
It added that the arrest comes as part of a “confidential operation targeting Islamic State group”.
“According to confidential information, a large number of foreigners, who entered the country a short while ago, were preparing to join the conflict in Syria and Iraq,” the statement read.
“The suspects have been detained in a security operation by the police forces, who raided some17 houses in Bandak area of Istanbul and arrested about 50 foreigners.”
The Counter-terrorism Directorate indicated that the detainees were transferred to the General Directorate of Security in Istanbul after being inspected.
“Usually such detainees are being deported to outside Turkey,” a monitoring group told ARA News. “However, many of them reach Syria through Bab al-Hawa crossing.”
Over the past two months, similar operations have been conducted by Turkish security forces in a number of provinces in the country, including Istanbul, Gaziantep and Kilis, resulting in the arrest of dozens of foreign nationals preparing to enter Syria and Iraq to join armed groups in the war-torn country of Syria, most of them preferred fighting alongside ISIS.
Reporting by: Jan Nasro
Source: ARA News