UK emphasizes ‘close cooperation’ with Turkey on foreign fighters

UK emphasizes ‘close cooperation’ with Turkey on foreign fighters

UK emphasizes ‘close cooperation’ with Turkey on foreign fighters

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

U.K. Ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore has stressed the ongoing close cooperation between his country and Turkey, upon Ankara’s announcement that a spy who worked for a country in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) helped three British girls cross into Syria to join the militants and has been caught.

“We are aware that an arrest has been made by the Turkish National Police and that the Metropolitan Police have informed the families of the three girls,” Moore said on March 13.

“There has been close cooperation between ourselves and the Turkish authorities and the Foreign Secretary is in regular contact with his Turkish counterpart. As soon as the U.K. received this information it was acted upon appropriately,” he added.

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 ISIL, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated on March 12.

“We have learned 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 that the suspect detained was a Syrian national working for Canadian intelligence, without elaborating.

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 added.