16 ISIL suspects arrested in Turkey’s south

16 ISIL suspects arrested in Turkey’s south

KAHRAMANMARAŞ – Doğan News Agency
16 ISIL suspects arrested in Turkey’s south

File photo from Turkey's border with Syria. AA Photo

Some 16 suspected members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been arrested in southern Turkey supposedly ahead of infiltrating Syria to join fighting in the war-torn country.

The 16, including 12 foreign nationals, were arrested late March 2 in Kahramanmaraş, a southern Turkish province close to the Syrian border, as they attempted to cross into the Turkish provinces that border the embattled country.

With checkpoints at critical spots throughout Kahramanmaraş, counterterrorism police officers detained the 16 as they were suspected to have been readying to join the fighting in Syria and later arrested on the charge of “membership of a terrorist organization” by a court they appeared in following their interrogation.

Turkey has stepped up its efforts against ISIL after the country saw deadly attacks carried out by the jihadist group. 

ISIL was blamed for three deadly attacks in Turkey in the second half of 2015 and recently for another attack at a touristic spot in Istanbul early this year.