News / Middle East

Turkey Holds 10 Suspected of Arming Syria Islamist Rebels-Media

Syria map Syria map
x
Syria map
Syria map
Reuters
Turkey detained 10 people on Tuesday on suspicion of providing weapons and fighters in the name of al-Qaida to Islamist rebels trying to topple the Syrian government, highlighting the dilemma Turkey faces as one of the rebel movement's biggest backers.

Turkey, which is now hosting some 400,000 Syrians who have fled the war, is one of President Bashar al-Assad's most outspoken critics and has given the rebels shelter and logistical support, although it denies arming them.

A camp dedicated to soldiers who have defected from the Syrian government army sits along Turkey's southern border with Syria and rebel fighters are able to cross freely back and forth across the frontier.

Yet at the same time, it has no desire to let the radical Islamist groups who have joined the rebel cause, notably the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front, operate on its territory or recruit Turkish citizens.

The suspects were arrested in Konya province, some 250 km south of the capital Ankara, after police were tipped off that a "radical Islamist group'' was persuading young men to join the Syrian insurgents, Turkey's private Dogan News Agency said.

According to the report, the men were also suspected of supplying handguns and rifles to the rebels, who have been fighting to overthrow Assad in a civil war that started as a peaceful street uprising two years ago.

Konya police declined to comment on the detentions.

Television footage on Dogan's website showed handcuffed men with long beards being escorted to police headquarters after being detained during what it said were dawn raids at several addresses in Konya.

"This case is not about al-Qaida, we have been detained because we read the Koran, because we are Muslims, and because we help Syrians,'' one man told reporters as he was led away.

Western powers, who have also pledged aid for the rebels but stopped short of providing weapons, have also expressed concern that al-Qaida-affiliated militants have been gaining ground in Syria. Reports are growing that their numbers are being swelled by foreigners, including Turks.

Last week, Turkish media reported that police had uncovered a plot linked to al-Qaida to bomb the U.S. embassy in Ankara, a synagogue in Istanbul and other targets.

Unconfirmed reports said more than 10 people had been arrested and explosives seized in relation to the suspected plot during police raids in February in Istanbul and Tekirdag, to the west.

Earlier in February, a suicide bomber killed one Turkish security guard and wounded several other people in an attack on the U.S. mission in Ankara that was claimed by a leftist group.

While Turkish police often arrest suspected Islamist militants and describe them as having links to al-Qaida, details seldom emerge. Al-Qaida was behind bomb attacks in 2003 that killed some 60 people and wounded hundreds in Istanbul.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid