Turkey cap­tures key sus­pect in deadly 2013 car-bomb­ings

The Miracle - - Middle East - Source: al­jazeera.com

Turkey cap­tured a key sus­pect in an at­tack five years ago that killed dozens of peo­ple, and he al­leged the twin bomb­ings were or­ches­trated by Syr­ian in­tel­li­gence. Yusuf Nazik con­fessed his role in the 2013 car bomb­ings in the bor­der town of Rey­hanli that killed 53 peo­ple. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, the 34-year-old ac­cused Syria’s Mukhabarat spy agency of plot­ting the at­tack. He was seized in the Syr­ian city of Latakia - the heart­land of Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad’s sup­port - in a “pin­point oper­a­tion” by Turkey’s Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Anadolu news agency re­ported. In a video re­leased on Wed­nes­day by the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment, Nazik ap­peared in a blue track­suit top and jeans next to a Turk­ish flag. He called on other sus­pects to sur­ren­der and warned Turkey would hold the As­sad gov­ern­ment to ac­count for the at­tack. ”I was not able to es­cape from the Turk­ish state,” he said in the video. “I am call­ing out to my friends in Syria, turn back while there still is time. The Turk­ish state will pro­tect us. I am call­ing out to the state of Syria, the Turk­ish state will make you pay even­tu­ally.”

In­tel­li­gence oper­a­tion?

The at­tack on May 11, 2013, saw one car bomb det­o­nated out­side coun­cil of­fices leave a mas­sive crater in the ground and de­stroy nearby build­ings. A sec­ond ve­hi­cle-bomb blew up a few min­utes later less than a kilo­me­tre away out­side a post of­fice. Most of the ca­su­al­ties were Turks but Syr­ian refugees were also killed just a cou­ple of kilo­me­tres from the Syr­ian bor­der. Nazik, a Turk­ish cit­i­zen from nearby An­takya, had been one of sev­eral sus­pects wanted in con­nec­tion to the at­tack. Turkey’s in­tel­li­gence agency, known as MIT, re­port­edly car­ried out the oper­a­tion to cap­ture him. No de­tails on when it took place were re­leased. Nazik ad­mit­ted scout­ing tar­gets, trans­port­ing the ex­plo­sives from Syria to Turkey, as well as procur­ing and load­ing the ve­hi­cles used in the bomb­ing. He iden­ti­fied his Syr­ian con­tact as an in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer named Mo­hammed who went by the co­de­name, Hadji. “We take the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Yusuf Nazik about the in­volve­ment of Syr­ian in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tives in the 2013 Rey­hanli at­tack very se­ri­ously,” a se­nior Turk­ish of­fi­cial told Al Jazeera on con­di­tion of anonymity.

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