Dec 05 2017

ISIS fighters flocking into Turkey after fall of Raqqa - The Times

Islamic State (ISIS) fighters are entering Turkey in their hundreds through smugglers’ routes following the fall of the state’s former capital of Raqqa in northeastern Syria, The Times newspaper said.

The Times interviewed a man who had been caught by a Turkish-backed rebel group in Syria, just 1.5 km from the border with Turkey.

“Lots of people were doing it, around half of them fighters and half of them civilians,” Saddam al-Hamadi told the newspaper.

“It was an easy route to cross.”

The smugglers charge just $300 to get fighters across into Turkey, although Turkish authorities are responding by improving border security, the newspaper said.

“There’s been a significant increase in the number of people caught,” a Turkish official told The Times.