Turkey arrests five Russians, one Libyan on Syrian border

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Istanbul | Turkish authorities have arrested five Russians, including a suspected jihadist, and a Libyan, who were attempting to cross the Syrian border illegally into Turkey, the Turkish defense ministry said on Wednesday.

“Our border guards stationed in the Narlica district in Hatay (south) arrested six people attempting to cross illegally from Syria to Turkey, a Libyan and five Russians,” the ministry said in a statement.

Among the Russians arrested is a woman wanted for alleged membership of the Islamic State (IS) group, the ministry added.

Another suspected member of ISIS, of New Zealand nationality, accompanied by her two children was arrested this week by Turkish authorities at the Syrian border.

In the years following the start of the conflict in Syria, in 2011, Turkey was one of the main transit points for jihadists seeking to reach this warring country.

Long accused of turning a blind eye to these passages, Ankara now regularly announces the arrest of suspected jihadists who enter its territory.