Turkey's unceasing fight against the terrorist group Daesh led to the capture of 105 suspects linked to the terrorist group in March, according to the latest figures by security sources supplied to Anadolu Agency (AA). Dawn raids across the country saw the capture of militants, foreign fighters and high-ranking members of the terrorist group last month. Security forces also thwarted attacks plotted by Daesh.
Major operations were carried out against the terrorist group in cities, from Istanbul in the west to Şanlıurfa and Kilis on Turkey's border with Syria where Daesh still maintains presence despite operations by U.S.-led coalition forces. Fourteen suspects were remanded in custody in March's operations while others are still being investigated and interrogated. Some foreign suspects were deported.
In the capital Ankara, seven suspects including two Iraqi nationals were captured in operations while 24 others were detained in two districts of Samsun, a northern city. In another operation in Ankara, 14 foreigners, including those who served as high-ranking members of the terrorist group in the past in Iraq and Syria, were captured.
One suspect among four detained in Kilis in another operation was remanded in custody. In Şanlıurfa's Akçakale district, three Daesh militants who infiltrated into Turkey from Syria were captured. One of them was a former Emirati police officer who later joined the terrorist group and trained to be a suicide bomber. One suspect was captured in an operation in Istanbul while he was preparing to carry out an attack.
In the northwestern city of Bursa, a Danish citizen wanted by Interpol for her links to the terrorist group was captured in an operation. In another operation in the city, a Syrian man who was an "emir" for Daesh in a Syrian town was also captured.
Trials against suspected Daesh members detained earlier also continued in March. A court in the southeastern city of Adıyaman accepted an indictment against Ayşenur İnci, who faces 15 years in prison for membership of a terrorist group. Turkey had put up a prize of TL 1.5 million for information leading to İnci's capture and she had turned herself in at the Habur border crossing between Turkey and Iraq in December. İnci had collaborated with police and identified 139 other Daesh suspects, disclosing a scheme of the terrorist group to smuggle foreign fighters into Syria. In Ankara, 37 people were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to seven years for links to the terrorist group. Eight others were sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment in another trial related to a bombing that killed 57 people in a street wedding in the southern city of Gaziantep in 2016. Also in March, Neil Christopher Prakash, an Australian man accused of being a member of the terrorist group, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison in another trial in Kilis.
More than 300 people were killed in Daesh attacks targeting Turkey since 2014. The latest major Daesh attack was during 2017 New Year celebrations. A lone gunman wielding an automatic rifle gunned down revelers in a popular Istanbul nightclub and killed 39 people. Turkish security forces have been involved in a long-running campaign to rid Turkey of Daesh terrorists that also took them to Syria. The Turkish army had assisted the Free Syria Army (FSA) in eliminating the Daesh presence in Syrian towns near the border in 2016.