Turkish border patrol in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay have detained 11 people accused of possessing weapons and trying to illegally cross the Syrian border.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) released a statement on Tuesday saying the people were Syrian nationals and didn’t stop despite warnings by border soldiers.
“The border patrol squad found a group of 11 people trying to illegally cross the Syrian border and enter Turkey. Following an order to stop by the squad which was disobeyed by the group, the squad fired a warning shot and detained the members of the group,” the statement said.
Several weapons were seized following a body search of the group members, including one machine gun, one machine gun charger, one kalashnikov infantry rifle, as well two kalashnikov infantry rifle clips.
On May 19, the TAF also announced that 690 people illegally crossing into Turkey through the border with Syria had been captured.
Syrian refugees escaping the violence in their country fled Syria in large numbers with the escalation of the Syrian Civil War in 2012.
One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which also hosts 300,000 Iraqi refugees in addition to the 1.7 million Syrian refugees.
“Turkey has implemented a travel ban on more than 14,000 people and deported more than 1,300 foreign fighters. We have done our best to get after foreign fighters,” said Gokhan Cetinsaya, head adviser to Turkish prime minister, at a conference in Washington on May 21.