News / Middle East

    Israeli General Says Al-Qaida's Syria Fighters Set Up in Turkey

    Fighters linked to al-Qaida carry their weapons during a parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey, Jan. 2, 2014.
    Fighters linked to al-Qaida carry their weapons during a parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey, Jan. 2, 2014.
    Reuters
    Some of the al Qaida militants going to fight in Syria have bases in neighboring Turkey and can easily access Europe from the NATO member state, Israel's military intelligence chief said on Wednesday.

    Major-General Aviv Kochavi, presenting a map of the Middle East marked with areas of al Qaida presence, told a security conference al Qaida fighters from around the world entered Syria weekly, “but they do not stay” there.

    The map showed three al Qaida bases inside Turkey.

    A spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment, but Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly denied Turkey is providing shelter or backing to al Qaida-linked groups in Syria.

    Kochavi declined a request by Reuters to give specific numbers, but his spokeswoman said the map showed the relative strength and location of al Qaida bases, which appeared to be in the Karaman, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa provinces.

    “Syria is projecting its conflict to the whole region. Those blotches (on the map) in Turkey are no mistake by the graphic artist and it is a short way from there into Europe,” Kochavi said at the conference held by the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

    The spots on the map signifying al Qaida in Turkey were together about half the size of the blotch in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula, which Kochavi said was home to about 200 Jihadi militants.

    Turkish anti-terrorist police raided the offices of an aid agency on the border with Syria this month, as part of what Turkish media said was an operation in six cities against individuals suspected of links to al Qaida.

    Turkey has maintained an open-door policy throughout the Syrian conflict, providing a lifeline to rebel-held areas by allowing humanitarian aid in, giving refugees a route out and letting the rebel Free Syrian Army organize on its soil.

    But the rise of al Qaida-linked groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in parts of northern Syria near the border has left Ankara open to accusations it is lending support to radical Islamists.

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    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    January 30, 2014 8:55 AM
    As sure as the sun will shine today! It is gratifying to see Israel give a graphical representation with facts Turkey is pivotal to terror axis in the region. No matter how many times Turkey is willing to deny this, facts on the ground remain that al qaida lives in and operates from Turkey, and from there is exported to Europe and America. Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be worried that after revealing the spy ring in Tehran Israel is still able to find out how many terror cells it operates in the country.

    Truth is there is no how one can separate terrorism from Islamist, and Erdogan is one. This time around let Recep Tayyip Erdogan resort to Tehran to give him a list of spy rings in Ankara as he had helped Rouhani's predecessor Ahmadinejad in the past. Beats him how Israel manages to beat both his conventional security and al qaida to operate, find out and graphically represent same on a map to be used at such a wide scale. Yeah, it's such a joy seeing Erdogan remain quiet as a sign of defeat. Next time he should know his boundaries. Yes of course he's going to come up with a lie soon to deny this truth, but Assad had revealed it earlier. Think Hezbollah can use that intelligence and save itself from al qaida destruction.

    by: mohamad from: iran
    January 30, 2014 3:34 AM
    In my opinion it is funny because how it is possible thar an israeili general knows that these people are alqaede members ,but europian countries intelligent services do not know well enough about their citizens .and on the other hand I do not agree with using similar terminology (alghaedeh)for a wide range of different people with sometimes oposite ideas that their common aim is helping syrian people instead of big powers

    by: Dorean from: UK
    January 29, 2014 5:15 PM
    just to illustrate the fetid corruption of the Turkish Government, ley me remind you that the "Humanitarian Aid Agency" the Turkish couter terrorism unit has raided, were the organizers of the "Gaza Flotilla" if you remember... those who attacked the Israeli Navy were Terrorists... what a squalid country Turkey has become...!!
    And now they are supporting the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in their atrocities against Egyptian civilians... NATO...??? LOL
    Just don't trust the BBC/Al Jazeera to report that accurately...

    by: Karl from: UK
    January 29, 2014 3:06 PM
    This is intolerable, and if true, Turkey should be expelled from NATO forthwith...!!! we all know that Turkey is a corrupt entity... but if they have descended into such a squalid level - we must have nothing to do with them.

    by: Dr. Kendo Namaru from: Japan
    January 29, 2014 3:02 PM
    let me tell you something... and it has been proven time and again without fail... when the Israelis say something - its true... and the World listens!! of course, the hypocrites will try to ignore it... and some even try to contradict it... but, we all know...
    We Love you Israel..!! all our love from Japan
    Shalom

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