KILIS, Turkey

Since the start of this year Turkey has arrested some 31 terrorists and suspected terrorists along its borders with Syria, Turkish security sources told Anadolu Agency.

A total of 28 terrorists were arrested while trying to cross into Turkey from Syria by illegal means, including six sought by Interpol, 18 Daesh/ISIS members, three YPG/PKK terrorists, and seven Al-Qaeda terrorists, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Three Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) suspects attempting to escape into Syria from Turkey’s south-central Kilis province, near the border, were also arrested by Turkish security forces, said the sources.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the July 15, 2016 defeated coup, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkey also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Out of the 31 terrorists, 13 were deported following joint operations by Turkish intelligence teams, police, gendarmerie, and border troops.

One of the suspects was a Danish national wanted by Interpol with a red notice for allegedly joining ISIS/Daesh.

The suspect was caught at the Syrian border in Kilis via a joint operation by the Turkish intelligence teams and police and later was transferred to an immigration office for Interpol processing.

Two Daesh/ISIS-linked women were also arrested while trying to cross into Turkey by illegal means.

The women were identified as nationals of the Russian Republic of Dagestan and were transferred to an immigration office for deportation.

Two Daesh/ISIS Kyrgyz nationals, both of them women, were also processed for deportation.

In 2013, Turkey was among the first countries to list Daesh/ISIS as a terrorist group.

The country has since been hit by the group numerous times in at least 10 suicide attacks, seven bombings, and four armed attacks, killling at least 300 people and injuring hundreds.

In response, Turkey has launched military and police operations at home and abroad to prevent further terror attacks.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

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