Syrian spying for Canada ‘helped’ 3 British girls join ISIL

Syrian spying for Canada ‘helped’ 3 British girls join ISIL

Syrian spying for Canada ‘helped’ 3 British girls join ISIL

British teenage girls Shamima Begun, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana (L-R) walk through security at Gatwick airport before they boarded a flight to Turkey on February 17, 2015, in this combination picture made from handout still images taken from CCTV and released by the Metropolitan Police on February 22, 2015. REUTERS Photo

An intelligence officer from a U.S.-led coalition member country has been detained in Turkey for helping three British teenage girls cross into Syria via Turkey and join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said March 12.

“We have learnt that the British girls were helped by an intelligence officer from a coalition member country,” Çavuşoğlu said in a televised interview without stating the country. The person who aided the crossing has been captured, he added.

Security sources told the Hürriyet Daily News March 12 that the suspect detained was a Syrian national working for Canadian intelligence, without elaborating.

The Canadian Embassy in Ankara declined to comment on the issue.

Officials said the suspect was still in custody and the related country was informed about the situation.

Çavuşoğlu did not give details about the suspect in the interview, but said the country was neither an EU member nor the United States, adding that he had briefed British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond about the case. Hammond responded by saying “just as usual” when he received the information, Çavuşoğlu said.

The three teenage girls from London feared to have run off to join ISIL are believed to have crossed into Syria from Turkey, British police said.

Close friends Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-olds Shamima Begum and Amira Abase boarded a flight from London Gatwick to Istanbul on Feb. 17.

Turkey, which has been accused by its Western allies of failing to do enough to stop jihadists crossing into Syria from its territory, had earlier accused Britain of failing to provide information about the girls sooner.

Çavuşoğlu also said Turkey was ready to support the establishment of “local guards” in Iraq. “The establishment of local guards in Iraq is the [Iraqi] government’s decision. We cannot say there is a regular army in Iraq at the moment,” he said, while reiterating that Turkey will not take part in any ground operation to retake Mosul.

Turkey will provide training and equipment, mostly training for local guards of Mosul, which will be composed of people of the province, Çavuşoğlu said.