ANKARA (Sputnik) – The Turkish police have detained 16 Iraqi nationals in the Ankara capital suspected of being involved in the Daesh terrorist group, the official Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday, citing sources in law enforcement.
Ankara’s police counterterrorism department, in cooperation with the country’s National Intelligence Organization, discovered 19 Iraqi citizens, who are allegedly affiliated with the Daesh*. The operation to detain suspects is ongoing.
The Daesh have gained widespread popularity since 2014 when militants started a large-scale offensive in northern and western Iraq. Despite the Iraqi authorities announcing the country’s complete liberation from Daesh militants in 2017, pockets of terrorists still continue to engage in sabotage and armed attacks in the liberated areas, as well as in other parts of the Middle East region.
On 1 September, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced the detention of the so-called Daesh emir, Mahmut Ozden, in Istanbul. The authorities described Ozden as responsible for training militant groups to perform terrorist attacks, as well as kidnapping Turkish politicians and smuggling them to Syria.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia