Turkish Intelligence Agency Helps Capture PKK Member in Syria
Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) aided Syrian opposition forces in capturing a member of the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian wing, the YPG, as she was trying to infiltrate Türkiye.
MIT discovered that Helin Işenme, also known under several aliases, including Amara Amed and Sena, who was part of the terrorist group’s “intelligence network” in Syria’s Manbij, was planning to cross into Türkiye from Syria’s north. Acting upon intelligence, Syrian opposition forces detained Işenme. She was handed over to Turkish authorities. Işenme, who joined the terrorist group in 2016, had an outstanding arrest warrant issued by a court in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır in 2017.
MIT’s Operations Against Terrorism
In recent years, the Turkish intelligence agency has stepped up its operations abroad to stamp out terrorist activities in Iraq and Syria, Türkiye’s two southeastern neighbors. In 2022 alone, 23 senior figures of the terrorist group backed by the United States in Syria were eliminated in MIT’s operations in the two countries, while many PKK members were transported to Türkiye. Since 2018, Turkish intelligence forces have eliminated over 100 terrorists. In February, a PKK member behind a terrorist attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal Street last year was killed in an MIT operation in Syria.
About the PKK
For over 40 years, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S., the United Kingdom and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Counterterrorism Operations by Türkiye
Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful counterterrorism operations – Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019) – across its border in northern Syria and northern Iraq to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents.