Turkey arrests nine Britons before joining Syrian conflict

A-Turkish-army-assualt-vehicle-guards-the-border-crossing-at-Akcakale.jpeg

Turkish army forces near the Syrian border. File photo

ARA News 

Istanbul, Turkey – The Turkish Military issued a statement on Wednesday, saying its forces arrested nine Britons attempting to enter Syria illegally.

The Turkish security reportedly detained the nine British nationals in the province of Hatay, near the Syrian border.

The statement didn’t specify the reason the Britons were trying to cross into Syria.

An official sources at the Hatay crossing told ARA News (on the condition of anonymity) that the arrested Britons were transferred to security headquarters in the province for interrogations.

“They were most likely trying to join the ranks of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS); otherwise, how can explain their attempt to cross illegally to an IS-held area?” he said. 

This comes after three British schoolgirls crossed into Syria through the Turkish territory to join the militants of the Islamic State.  

An estimated 25,000 foreign jihadists have so far joined the ranks of the radical group in Syrian and Iraq since its emergence over large areas in both countries. 

For the majority of the foreign members of the extremist group, Turkey has been the main transit point.

 

Reporting by: Gulnaz Hassan

Source: ARA News

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