At least 199 DAESH suspects have been arrested in counterterrorism operations across Turkey since the begining of this year, unnamed security sources told Anadolu Agency on Monday. According to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media, large caches of arms and ammunition along with documents belonging to the organization had also been seized in the operations.
Out of 863 suspects taken into custody since 2016, 199 were arrested, the sources added. So far, the number of "neutralized" DAESH terrorists has reached 1,172, including 807 in Syria and 365 in Northern Iraq. On the Syrian border alone, 388 DAESH terrorists and 82 PKK or People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists have been captured this year. The Turkish military hit 2,144 DAESH positions between May 1 and May 5 this year in accordance with the country's rules of engagement.
Turkey has also shelled DAESH positions in retaliation to rocket attacks.
Turkish towns have been repeatedly hit by rockets from across the border since mid-January this year. In Kilis alone, the local governor said 20 people have been killed and almost 70 others wounded in DAESH rocket attacks from Syria.
On May 2, Turkish forces hit back and struck DAESH gun emplacements and ammunition holds in the Suran, Arshak, Ikdakh and Ihtimalat regions along the Syrian border, killing 64 terrorists.
On Jan. 12, DAESH conducted a suicide bombing in Istanbul's Sultanahmet Square that killed 12 German tourists and wounded 13 others.
On Saturday, Turkish jets hit four DAESH positions in Northern Iraq, following a stray projectile that killed one Turkish soldier and wounded another at a Turkish military base in the region.
In addition to the Sultanahmet suicide bombing, DAESH has also been linked to a number of other suicide bombings in Turkey, including the March 19 attack on Istanbul's İstiklal Avenue that killed three Israelis and an Iranian tourist.
In the worst attack in Turkey's history, 103 people were killed in the October 2015 twin suicide bombings at a peace rally in Ankara.
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