Turkey arrests four Russians before crossing into Syria to join ISIS

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ARA News

Urfa, Turkey – Subsequent to the arrest of nine Britons, the Turkish authorities announced Thursday that they had arrested four Russian citizens in the state of Gaziantep, south of the country, who were apparently planning to cross into Syria.

A statement released by the Media Office in the state of Gaziantep said that the four Russians were arrested trying to cross into Turkish territory illegally.

“The detainees were transferred to the foreign office of the Turkish police to be deported from the country.”

On Wednesday, the Turkish authorities arrested nine Britons, who were planning to cross the border into Syria, according to a statement of the General Staff of the Turkish army, who declared that the operation took place in the province of Hatay, south of the country.

Speaking to ARA News, Turkish journalist Burhan Yildiz said that high-level coordination was reached recently between the British and Turkish authorities. “This was apparent when many Brittish citizens were stopped in several airports and border points across Turkey.”

“They were prevented from entering Syrian territory,” he added.

The Turkish journalist said that his government wants to “improve its image” to Western public opinion by demonstrating that it is against allowing jihadists into Syria, after receiving harsh critique from several Western and regional media outlets.

“Turkey is facing accusations regarding facilitating paths for jihadists to cross its border into Syria as well as providing the Islamic State radical group (IS/ISIS) with a fertile environment for movement on its borders,” Yildiz told ARA News.

This comes after the Turkish government received sever criticism by several international press agencies and opponents of the Justice and Development Party. One point of contention is that the Turkish government opens its border crossings in the areas held by the Islamic State in Syria, as well as treating its injured insurgents in its hospitals.

 

Reporting by: Ziwer Osman

Source: ARA News

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