Turkey detains 20 foreigners over suspected IS links

Turkey detains 20 foreigners over suspected IS links
Turkish police rounded up 20 foreign nationals suspected of having ties to the Islamic State, in the wake of the death of the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
2 min read
28 October, 2019
Turkish police escort suspected IS executioner Mohammed Ramadan during his detention in Izmir [Getty]

Turkish police arrested 20 foreign nationals suspected of links to the Islamic State group, state-run news agency Anadolu reported on Monday.

The suspects, whose individual nationalities were not disclosed, were detained in the capital Ankara by anti-terrorism police just a day after the US announced IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself during a raid in northern Syria, close to the Turkish border.

The detainees were referred to the migration office for deportation, Anadolu’s source added.

Turkey has faced its own wave of IS attacks in recent years, including 10 suicide bombings, the most devastating of which struck between 2015 and 2016.

Between January and March 2016, 17 people were killed in two suicide attacks in busy areas of Istanbul.

On New Years' Eve 2017, an IS-linked gunman opened fire in an Istanbul nightclub, killing 39 people and wounding 79 others.

Read more: Averting an Islamic State resurgence in Iraq and Syria

In its cross-border operations into Syria, Turkey claims to have killed 3,500 IS fighters and arrested 5,500.

Turkey on Sunday claimed to have aided Washington with its operation to assassinate Islamic State group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"Prior to the US Operation in Idlib Province of Syria last night, information exchange and coordination between the military authorities of both countries took place," the Turkish defence ministry said in a tweet.

Turkey is currently leading a cross-border offensive into Kurdish-held border areas of northern Syria, which it claims is in defence of its security against Kurdish militias it claims are "terrorists".

The Kurds however claim Turkey and its allies are ethnically cleansing the area, demanding an investigation into war crimes during the latest operation, which has displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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