Turkey detains 31 in operation targeting ISIS

December 23, 2016 10:55

ANKARA - Turkish authorities detained 31 people on Friday suspected of links to Islamic State, broadcaster NTV said, as clashes between Turkish soldiers and the jihadist group intensified in northern Syria.

Turkey issued arrest warrants for 41 people in Istanbul for "being members of an armed terrorist organization", NTV said. The remaining 10 suspects could not immediately be found, and were being sought after their homes were searched.

Turkey launched a military incursion into Syria on Aug. 24 in support of Syrian rebels to try to push ISIS away from the border area, and has frequently carried out raids on suspected jihadist safe-houses in Istanbul and other cities.

Defense Minister Fikri Isik told parliament on Thursday that 35 Turkish soldiers had been killed since the start of operation Euphrates Shield, and 1,005 Islamic State militants had been "neutralized".

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