The Turkish secret service staged an operation deep in the heartland of the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad to capture and bring back to Turkey the prime suspect in a 2013 bombing, officials say.
Turkish citizen Yusuf Nazik, who is accused of planning a bombing in a Turkish border town in May 2013, was apprehended in an operation carried out by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).
He was captured in the Syrian city of Latakia — a stronghold of support for Assad that has never slipped from his control — and then brought to Turkey, the Anadolu news agency says.
More than 50 people were killed in the bombing — one of the deadliest in Turkey’s modern history — in Reyhanli, on the border with Syria in the southern Turkish province of Hatay.
Ankara at the time blamed the attack on the regime of Assad and allied groups. The Syrian government rejected the charges.
Anadolu published a video of Nazik, dressed in a tracksuit top and jeans and standing by a Turkish flag, giving what it described as a “confession”, saying he was behind the attack and it had been ordered by the Syrian regime.