Turkish intelligence releases details of operation to free 49 captives
The head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT), Hakan Fidan, briefed the president and prime minister about the operation. AA PhotoThe intelligence operation that freed 49 Turks from the clutches of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was carried out by the exterior operations department of National Intelligence Organization (MİT), a Turkish intelligence source has said, adding that no foreign intelligence operations were involved.
No ransom was paid and there was no agreement for a swap of hostages. The hostages changed places at least seven times and there were at least five opportunities to free them, but escalating clashes in the region ruled out the possibility of freeing them sooner, according to the source.
The last intelligence operation started a few days ago. They were held in the vicinity of Mosul, but ISIL did not want to hand over the hostages due to problems stemming from their current battle with the People’s Defense Forces (YPG) of Rojava in northern Syria. Eventually, the jihadist group brought the captives to Tel Abyad, the Syrian town across from the Turkish town of Akçakale.
The operation was completed just after 1 a.m., Sept. 20.
MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan informed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who was on an official visit to Azerbaijan, about the operation, according to the source.