BEIRUT

Middle East

Police raid suspected militants in Istanbul, five wounded

Free Syrian Army fighters stand at a former base used by fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), after ISIS withdrew from the town of Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border, March 11, 2014. REUTERS/Hamid Khatib

ISTANBUL: Turkish special forces raided buildings in Istanbul used by suspected members of an Islamist militant group active in neighbouring Syria and Iraq late on Monday, leaving three policemen and two suspects wounded, police said.

The five - including a man and a woman thought to belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) - were hit after people in the buildings opened fire on security forces, police added.

ISIS is among fragmented Islamist groups fighting against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in a three-year conflict. It is has also battled Iraq's government in that country's western Anbar province.

Ankara has repeatedly denied it is arming rebels inside Syria, but its highly publicised opposition to Assad has raised fears that Turkey may have become a safe haven for Islamist militants battling against Damascus.

If ISIS's involvement is confirmed, it would be the first clash with the group inside a Turkish city.

The raid in Istanbul's residential Umraniye neighbourhood came a week after two members of the security forces were killed in the southern Turkish province of Nigde when suspected members of ISIS opened fire from a truck, and just days before Turkey holds high stakes municipal polls.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled into Turkey along its 900 km frontier with Syria during the brutal three year conflict, and cross border fire has occasionally led to civilian deaths in Turkish territory.

Turkish armed forces shot down a Syrian plane on Sunday that Ankara said had violated its air space.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here