Police have arrested four PKK terrorists in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa who were reportedly about to stage an assassination attempt on ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Şanlıurfa Deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız.
In a written statement, the Şanlıurfa Security Directorate said the suspects, who were allegedly planning a terrorist attack on security personnel, crossed the border illegally and were held in the Suruç district near the Syrian border. The statement also said that the suspects planned to assassinate AK Party executives. The terrorists had come to Suruç illegally from Kobani, a town just across the border in northern Syria. Kobani is currently under the control of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization. The PYD's People's Protection Units (YPG) militia is currently supported by the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition in the fight against Daesh.
The joint police and gendarmerie operation resulted in the raid of a home where the terrorists had been staying and resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of arms and ammunition, including one pistol, one Kalashnikov assault rifle, one pump-action shotgun, 420 grams of plastic explosives and two rockets.
Under police questioning, the terrorists admitted that they had been sent from Kobani to carry out an attack on police, soldiers and AK Party politicians.
Security measures have been increased along the border with Syria, and the terrorists remain in police custody for questioning.
The PKK, a group listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and EU, has a long history of targeting politicians, ranging from AK Party deputies to other critical voices in recent years, including kidnappings, assassinations and other attacks.
This is not the first time that terrorists from Kobani have organized attacks in Turkey. In December of last year, it emerged that a terrorist who killed 14 soldiers in central Kayseri province had received training at PYD camps in Kobani and had traveled to Turkey illegally through Suruç.
Investigations on attacks carried out in Ankara on February and March 2016 also pointed to the involvement of YPG-trained militants and use of explosives brought from northern Syria. The heinous attacks claimed the lives of 67 people and injured nearly 200 people, mostly civilians.
Turkey has criticized U.S. support for the PYD, stating that the PYD is an offshoot of the PKK, which is internationally recognized as a terrorist group.
However, the U.S. has called the PYD a key ally in the fight against Daesh terrorists in Syria despite Turkey's repeated calls for the U.S. to end its support for the PYD/YPG.