Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Ankara makes arrests in FSA commander kidnap plot | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- Colonel Malik al-Kurdi, the Free Syrian Army’s [FSA] deputy commander, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat the reports about the Turkish authorities arresting a group that planned to kidnap FSA Commander Riad al-Asaad. He said: “The information is correct but we do not have the details”, adding that the “Turkish authorities have foiled almost 20 plans to kidnap FSA commanders.”

The Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported the Turkish police’s arrest yesterday of two Turks and a Syrian in the south of the country, on the charge of “being agents of the Syrian regime and planning to kidnap Col. Riad al-Asaad.” Turkish media reported the three intended to kidnap al-Assad from the refugee camp in Abaydin and bring him back to Syria, quoting the Turkish prosecutor as saying that an antiterrorist unit had arrested the suspects and that an investigation was now underway.

While Col. Al-Asaad is yet to comment, al-Kurdi asserted “we heard the news through the media and confirmed its validity after contacting the Turkish government.” He pointed out that the “Turkish government has arrested similar groups, and often foils similar plans without informing us.”

Al-Kurdi stressed that “these attempts are not unusual for the Syrian regime but they do not intimidate us or disrupt our morale at all. We also do not rule out such action in future.” He added: “We believe in our cause, we only have one life, and we will be ready when our time comes.”

The Turkish media reported several few weeks ago that a Syrian man and woman had been arrested in Hatay Province, on the charge of being agents of Syrian intelligence and preparing operations to carry out kidnappings in Abaydin.