By Volkan Kasik and Ilkay Guder
MALATYA (AA) – More than 5,300 Daesh suspects have been detained so far in Turkey as part of the country’s intense fight against terrorism, security sources confirmed Friday.
According to data Anadolu Agency correspondents compiled from police and military sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, a total of 5,310 people were held, of which 1,654 have been remanded into custody.
In the first half of 2016, 1,654 people were detained, 791 of them foreigners, the sources said.
Turkey has also shared information about more than 50,000 suspects with 144 countries to help thwart Daesh’s terrorist activities, while deporting 3,500 people belonging to 98 nationalities, according to the sources.
Turkey has been taking steps to crack down on Daesh ever since the group conducted a string of suicide bombings in Turkey.
The Turkish military has also been shelling Daesh targets in Syria, as the group has launched rockets into southern Turkish cities near the Syrian border.
On June 28, the group was responsible for killing 45 people and injuring more than 200 others at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport when three suicide bombers, all foreign nationals, opened fire and blew themselves up at the international terminal.
In addition to the airport blast, Daesh has been linked to a number of other suicide bombings in Turkey in recent months, including the March attack in Istanbul’s Taksim Square that killed five people, the January attack in Sultanahmet, Istanbul that killed 12 German tourists, and the October 2015 attack on a rally in Ankara that killed 103 people.
– Turkey’s multi-pronged strategy for fighting Daesh
Turkey’s strategy in the fight against the Daesh terror organization is made up of four main categories.
Security operations against groups inside the country thought to have links with Daesh make up only one of these.
The second category is the fight against foreign fighters trying to pour into Syria through Turkey, while the third is Turkey’s contributions to the international anti-Daesh coalition.
The fourth and last category of Turkey’s anti-Daesh strategy since 2013 is the national and international fight to cut off terror financing.
– Daesh terror attacks targeting civilians in Turkey
A total of 223 people has lost their lives in Daesh terror attacks in Turkey, where the terror organization has targeted civilians in suicide bomb attacks, rocket attacks, and long-barreled gun attacks.
Daesh has targeted Turkey’s border Kilis province with 83 rocket shells since January 2016, killing 21 people and injuring more than 80 others.
Forty-five people were killed on June 28 when Daesh terrorists attacked civilians with suicide bombs and long-barreled guns at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.
Last year, Daesh terrorists killed 34 people in a suicide bomb attack in the Sanliurfa province’s Suruc district, while 107 others were killed in suicide bomb attacks in front of the central train station in Ankara.
On March 19, 2016, three American-Israeli citizens and one Iranian citizen were killed on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue, while on Jan. 12, a Daesh suicide bomber killed 12 German citizens in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district.
– Big blow to Daesh
The Turkish Armed Forces dealt a great blow to Daesh in Syria after it ramped up attacks on Turkish border provinces. The Turkish army attacked Daesh targets with storm howitzers, multiple rocket systems, and tanks.
The Turkish army has killed more than 500 Daesh terrorists since Jan. 9 in its attacks against the terror organization’s emplacements in Syria.
In another tack, judicial proceedings against Daesh suspects detained in operations inside the country continue.