Turkey nabs bomb suspect from Syrian regime stronghold

Turkey nabs bomb suspect from Syrian regime stronghold
2 min read
09 September, 2020
Ercan Bayat is the second suspect in the 2013 Reyhanli bombings to be detained by Turkish authorities from Syria.
Turkey has napped two suspects in the Reyhanli bombings from Syria [Getty]
Turkey has captured and detained a man accused of being behind deadly bomb attacks in Hatay province, who was believed to be living in Syria under regime protection.

Ercan Bayat is the second suspect nabbed by Turkish intelligence from Syria in connection with the twin Reyhanli car bombings in 2013 which killed 53 people and left dozens injured.

He is believed to have been captured inside Syria's Latakia city by Turkish agents and handed to counter-terrorism forces over the border, according to local media.

Bayat was carrying a gun license issued by the Syrian regime, pro-Turkish government Sabah daily reported.

Ankara has posited that Bashar Al-Assad's carried out the twin car bomb attacks on Reyhanli, a town close to the Syrian border where thousands of refugees had sought sanctuary from the war.

In 2018, Ankara announced that Turkish agents had captured a key suspect linked to the bombings in the regime's Latakia stronghold, and brought him over the border to Turkey.

Turkish national, Yusuf Nazik, was accused of masterminding the Reyhanli attacks and was sentenced to 53 aggravated life terms last year, one for each of the fatalities.

The Assad regime is believed to have instigated the bombing in revenge for Turkey's support for the Syrian opposition during the war.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has remained a strident critic of Assad's conduct during Syria's nine-year war, which has left over 500,000 people dead and forced millions for Turkey.

Relations between the two countries remain fraught after Ankara's interventions in northern Syria, where Turkey has set up a number of military bases.

Ankara also blamed Mihrac Ural, a Turkish national who heads a notorious regime militia in Syria, for the bombings. He has been the target of repeated assassination attempts by the Syrian opposition.

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