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Turkey covering routine Daesh border crossings from Syria: MP

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish MP Erem Erdem (file photo)

Leaked phone recordings allegedly show that the Turkish government has permitted over a thousand members of the Daesh terrorist group to cross its borders with Syria.

Turkish Opposition MP Erem Erdem who leaked 422 pages of transcriptions of the conversations to media outlets has accused Ankara of covering up the cross border activities.

The detailed phone conversations, mostly between a known Daesh member, Ilhami Bali, and his associates inside Turkish borders, were obtained from Turkish security forces, RT reported on Saturday.

Bali is a major suspect in a series of bombing attacks in Ankara and the southern Turkish town of Suruc, an ethnically Kurdish town located close to the border with Syria. 

During the press conference where he presented the transcribed conversations, Erdem said that “these entries recorded comprehensive information such as which hotel the terrorists are going to stay in, where they will wait for their car, which gas station they will use … how many people and who exactly would be responsible for the preparation of a terrorist attack.”

“Despite the fact that all this information was in the hands of the authorities, the security forces had not carried out any operations to detain terrorists,” he added. 

In one of the conversations, Bali asks one of his counterparts how many terrorists have crossed into Turkey, to which his associate replies"1,128."

In another conversation, Bali vents his dissatisfaction with another Turkish associate.

“What? Are you the one who is responsible that they got arrested? Don’t lie to me! Don't lie to me. Eighteen people crossed the border last night. Fifteen of them got arrested when you tried to help them,” he said.

 A frame grab of Syrian intelligence forces inspecting a captured Daesh-bound lorry full of medicine in Aleppo

On Friday, Syrian intelligence forces captured a haul of medical supplies near Aleppo, which came from Turkey and was destined for Daesh terrorists in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Turkey has time and again been accused of aiding and abetting militant groups operating in Syria with reports saying that Ankara actively trains and arms the Takfiri militants there, and facilitates their safe passage into the Arab country. Ankara has also been accused of buying smuggled oil from Daesh.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has also displaced over half of the Arab country’s pre-war population of about 23 million.


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