Turkey claims to have cap­tured ‘im­por­tant’ ISIS leader

The National - News - - NEWS - THE NA­TIONAL

Turkey has cap­tured an im­por­tant ISIS fig­ure in Syria, the coun­try’s in­te­rior min­is­ter said.

Suleiman Soylu did not iden­tify the fig­ure, or pro­vide fur­ther de­tails, but said the sus­pect was still be­ing in­ter­ro­gated.

The an­nounce­ment fol­lowed Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan’s warn­ing to EU na­tions that he could send ISIS pris­on­ers back to Europe in re­sponse to the bloc’s de­ci­sion to im­pose sanc­tions over unau­tho­rised oil drilling off Cyprus.

“You should re­vise your stance to­wards Turkey, which at the mo­ment holds so many ISIS mem­bers in prison and at the same time con­trols those in Syria,” Mr Er­do­gan said.

“Th­ese gates will open and th­ese ISIS mem­bers who have started to be sent to you will con­tinue to be sent. Then you can take care of your own prob­lem.”

Turkey de­ported cit­i­zens of the United States, Den­mark and Ger­many on Mon­day and an­nounced plans to soon ex­pel seven other Ger­man cit­i­zens, two Ir­ish cit­i­zens and 11 French cit­i­zens.

Turkey said last week that about 1,200 ISIS mil­i­tants were in Turk­ish pris­ons and 287 ISIS mem­bers, in­clud­ing women and chil­dren, were cap­tured dur­ing Turkey’s of­fen­sive in Syria, launched last month.

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