GAZIANTEP, Turkey

In the first month of 2021, Turkey continued its counter-terrorism efforts dealing a heavy blow to the Daesh/ISIS network, according to the information compiled by Anadolu Agency.

In successful operations, Turkish security forces foiled many bloody terrorist activities in the Turkish metropolis Istanbul, the capital Ankara, and the southern Kilis and southeastern Sanliurfa provinces.

A total of 361 suspects, including foreign nationals, were arrested by gendarmerie forces and border guards last month, while many organizational documents, arms and ammunition were seized.

Fifty of the suspects were remanded in custody. Some were deported and judicial procedures against others are ongoing.

Operations in January

At least 25 suspects, including foreign nationals, were arrested in different operations launched against the terrorist organization in Istanbul.

In Ankara, National Intelligence Organization (MIT) teams and gendarmerie forces arrested two terror suspects planning a major attack in Turkey.

The suspects were active for the Daesh/ISIS terror group in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor region and were involved in several attacks on civilians.

Daesh/ISIS terrorist Azzo Halaf Suleyman al-Aggal was arrested in a joint operation by the Turkish security and intelligence teams in the southeastern Sanliurfa province. Later he was remanded in custody for supplying explosives in two deadly bombings in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet and Sanliurfa’s Suruc districts.

He was found to be cooperating with another Daesh/ISIS terrorist Mahir al-Aggal, codenamed Abu Bera, – who was in charge of arranging a number of suicide bombings.

Another terrorist hiding in Ankara was arrested in his address. He was learned to have aided terrorist activities in clash zones in Iraq.

Kyrgyz-national Bunyod M. was arrested at Istanbul Airport as he tried to go abroad with a fake passport after he fled from a deportation center where he was charged with being a Daesh/ISIS member.

Daesh/ISIS-PKK nexus exposed

A total of 126 suspects were detained in an operation spread over 57 more provinces.

In the southeastern Gaziantep-based operation, 37 suspects were arrested over their links to the terror group. The operation was launched in 15 provinces.

Some 168 suspects, including foreign nationals, were also held in the provinces of Ankara, Kirsehir, Van, Kayseri, Gaziantep, Sakarya, and Mersin.

An Uzbek-origin Daesh/ISIS suspect, sought with a red notice and identified by the initials A.R.S., was nabbed as he tried to enter Turkey from the southern Kilis province by illegal means. He was then remanded in custody.

Border troops in the northwestern Edirne province rounded up three people at the border while they were trying to flee to Greece on an inflatable boat. Two of them had PKK links, while the other one was a Daesh/ISIS member, which once again proved the nexus between the terror groups.

Turkey was one of the first countries to declare Daesh as a terror group in 2013.

The country has since been attacked by Daesh terrorists multiple times. The terror group has carried out at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed attacks, killing 315 people and injuring hundreds more.

In response, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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