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Turkey Arrests Ex-ISIS Commander Responsible for Executing Prisoners

Turkey Arrests Ex-ISIS Commander Responsible for Executing Prisoners

Wednesday, 19 February, 2020 - 12:30
Ankara - Saeed Abdelrazek

Anti-terror Turkish forces in the northwestern city of Bursa have arrested a former Syrian ISIS commander and three others militants, who were all executioners and worked in intelligence missions.

The ISIS commander, Abu Taki al-Shamy, 50, is thought to have played a prominent role in the group's execution videos and was working in Bursa as a gas repairman.

Police shared a video of his arrest on Monday, showing him in his work outfit.

He has been living in Turkey for three years and was described by the state-run Anadolu Agency as working for a senior ISIS leader in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria, a former stronghold of the extremist group.

Shamy seems to be the same man shooting a civilian on the back of the head in a video released on social media a few years ago.

After he was apprehended, Turkish security services arrested three others in Bursa over ISIS links. Two of them worked on executions, and the third was part of the ISIS terrorist intelligence.

Turkey launched a security campaign against ISIS militants after several attacks rocked the country in 2015, leaving more than 300 people dead.

The campaign has intensified since the beginning of 2017 after the New Year's Eve attack at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, in which dozens of foreigners were killed.

The frequency of these campaigns increased after the country’s Operation Peace Spring, which was launched in northeastern Syria last October and aims to eliminate what Turkey says are threats from the Syrian Kurdish YPG and ISIS militants, and enable the return of Syrian refugees after the formation of a “safe zone” in the area.

During the four-year campaign, Turkish anti-terrorist forces have arrested more than 5,000 ISIS militants, the majority of whom were foreigners, and deported about 3,000, while hundreds remained in prisons inside Turkey.

The interior ministry announced on Tuesday that it deported a German terrorist as part of a plan to deport ISIS militants to their countries of origin.

The number of those deported since the campaign's launch in November 2019 has amounted to about 120 foreigners and their families.

Among those deported were nationals from the United States, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Britain, Morocco, Kosovo, and France.

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