Five Islamic State group militants were arrested while trying to cross the border between Syria and Turkey. Turkish soldiers arrested the fighters Monday, reports said. The arrests were made near the Akcakale crossing gate, where the Islamic State group fighters tried taking advantage of political unrest that had forced thousands of Syrian refugees to enter Turkey to avoid the clashes.
The fighters for the Islamic State group -- which is also known as ISIS or ISIL -- tried becoming a part of the crowd to cross the border. According to Turkish officials, around 15,000 Syrian refugees have crossed Turkey’s Akcakale border crossing so far. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in the Syrian part of the conflict zone helped Kurdish forces launch stronger offensives against ISIS forces. Thousands of people in Syria left their country to avoid the volatile situation in the region.
Hurriyet Daily News reported that Turkish soldiers, backed by armored cars, took cover on the Turkish side of the border. It was the time when the Free Syrian Army and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units battled ISIS militants. The armored cars took the five suspected ISIS terrorists after a body search.
Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the U.S. military was not able to reach its goal of training Iraqi forces against ISIS. "Of the 24,000 Iraqi security forces we had originally envisioned training at our four sites by this fall, we've only received enough recruits to be able to train about 7,000, in addition to about 2,000 counter-terrorism service personnel," Carter said, as ABC News reported. "As I've told Iraqi leaders, while the United States is open to supporting Iraq more than we already are, we must see a greater commitment from all parts of the Iraqi government."
This was not the first time U.S. officials blamed Iraqi forces for its lack of commitment. President Barack Obama earlier said that the U.S.-led coalition’s strategy against ISIS forces would be incomplete without appropriate commitment for the Iraqi government.
However, U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said he was against sending U.S. combat troops to Iraq. He said Iraqi fighters should “stiffen their spine.” He added that the United States would not be able to do anything if the threat of ISIS could not motivate Iraqi forces enough.