Isis' kidnap attempt of Syrian rebel commander foiled in Turkey

Militants tried to smuggle Abu Issa across the border after seizing him in Urfa

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The Independent Online

Isis militants allegedly attempted to kidnap a top Syrian rebel commander in a foiled attack in Turkey.

The incident in the southeastern city of Urfa has prompted further concerns about Ankara’s response to the threat of jihadists within the Nato country’s borders, The Telegraph reported.

Abu Issa, the leader of Thuwar Raqqa, was targeted on Friday evening by Isis, against whom he had been fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. He was shot and wounded in the attack.

Issa and his 20-year-old son, Ammar, were dragged from their car by four men while on their way back home from a meeting in the city centre, his aides told the newspaper. Issa reportedly recognised two of the men as Isis militants because they were not wearing masks.

The driver of the car, who is also Issa’s closest advisor, was reportedly involved in the ambush, after which Issa and his son were driven towards the border with the view to smuggling them into Syria.


However, the plan fell through due to the presence of a large number of recently deployed Turkish soldiers and the decision of one of the smugglers to pull out of the plot. 

Issa, who was reportedly shot in the side during the kidnap attempt, was abandoned at a hospital in Urfa on Saturday morning. The kidnappers and Issa’s advisor were subsequently arrested by the Turkish police, it has been reported.

Turkey has been criticised for its reluctance to join the fight against Isis, particularly in the Kurdish town of Kobani, which has been surrounded by militants for more than a month. 

On Monday a foreign ministry official said Turkish airspace was not used during airdrops carried out by the United States to support Kurdish fighters defending the Syrian border town.

US officials said on Sunday the airdrops included medical supplies and weapons provided by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.