- Latest operation reveals Islamic State's reach in Turkey's capital
- Turkish police detained hundreds of ISIS suspects in past months
In a sweeping crackdown against the Islamic State, the Turkish police raided hundreds of houses in Ankara on Thursday and remanded more than 160 suspects believed to be affiliated with the terrorist group.
Though the authorities have previously launched large-scale and simultaneous raids against ISIS network in different cities in the past months, the recent police operation in Ankara is a testimony to the group’s reach at the heart of Turkey.
As the Turkish police have stepped up its efforts to dismantle networks of the ISIS across Turkey after the extremist group began to lose its major territorial holdings in Iraq and Syria, weekly operations have only intensified.
In Ankara operation, at least 165 ISIS suspects were detained by counter-terrorism units, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
Turkish officials are now looking for other suspects as legal authorities issued detention warrants for 245 ISIS suspects in total.
At least 250 addresses were searched and raided during the police operations.
Turkish security officials fear that after the loss of territorial holdings, ISIS may switch to large-scale violent attacks in Turkey.
The group launched bloody attacks in the past two years, claiming lives of hundreds of Turkish citizens. The last high profile attack took place on New Year’s Eve at an Istanbul nightclub at Bosporus, with 39 people, majority of whom were tourists, being gunned down by a lone attacker.
Since then, Turkish police has accelerated its crackdown against suspected ISIS cells across the country.