Turkey ‘arrests 400 suspected Daesh terrorists’

Turkey says its police forces have detained 400 suspects linked to the Daesh terrorist group across the country, including in the capital city, Ankara.

Anti-terrorism police detained 60 Daesh-linked suspects in Ankara early on Sunday morning, according to a security source quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The suspects, reportedly mainly foreign nationals, were arrested during simultaneous raids in four different districts in the capital.

Some 150 other suspects were detained in Sanliurfa in Turkey’s southeast, and dozens of others were arrested in provinces ranging from Bursa in the west to Bingol in the east, the Dogan and Anadolu news agencies reported.

On New Year’s Eve, a gunman went on a shooting spree inside an Istanbul night club, killing 39 people. Daesh claimed responsibility for the massacre.

The suspected attacker, Abdulgadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national, was arrested on January 16 after over two weeks on the run.

Another security source was cited by Anadolu as saying that separate raids in the city of Istanbul, and in northwestern Kocaeli and western Izmir provinces in the early hours of Sunday also led to the arrest of 26 more suspects linked to the movement of US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, including 10 children.

Turkey has been carrying out military operations in neighboring Syria since August last year in a declared mission against Daesh. The operations have not been sanctioned by the Damascus government, and observers believe they are more intended against Kurdish forces — who are themselves fighting Daesh — than against the terrorist group itself.

Turkey considers the armed Kurdish groups as “terrorists.”