By Hatice Ozdemir Tosun
ANTALYA, Turkey (AA) – Daesh terrorists were trying to build planes in northern Syria where the Turkish army carried out cross-border operations, a Turkish minister said Tuesday.
Referring to Turkey's operation Euphrates Shield in Syria, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the army seized bomb production factories across the border.
"They have even tried to build planes," he said.
Operation Euphrates Shield, which began on Aug. 24, 2016 and ended in March 2017, was aimed at eliminating the terrorist threat along the border in the northern Syrian regions of Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Al-Bab, and Azaz with the use of the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish artillery and air cover.
Soylu said since 2011, 916 EU citizens were arrested while trying to cross Turkey's border in order to join Daesh.
He said 9,394 EU citizens were put on the banned foreign people's list to cross Turkey's borders, to prevent them from joining the terror group.
More than 300 people lost their lives in Daesh-claimed attacks in Turkey, where the terror organization has targeted civilians in suicide bomb, rocket, and gun attacks in recent years.
Soylu said some caves that the Turkish army captured from PKK terrorists in Turkey are 3,000 meters high, while some have three floors and are 100 meters deep.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children.