Turkey’s MIT kills the “planner” of Istanbul attack in Syria: Report

Turkey’s MIT kills the “planner” of Istanbul attack in Syria: Report
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Halil Menci was protected by the YPG in Qamishli, Anadolu said

The Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) has killed a man named Halil Menci in Syria whom it deemed to be the planner of November’s deadly Istanbul attack.

According to a Friday report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency, Menci, emphasized as a PKK/YPG member was “neutralized” during a special operation in Northern Syria’s Qamishli on Wednesday.

Turkish authorities use the term "neutralized" to usually imply the people in question who were killed.

A bomb attack on Nov.13 rocked Istanbul’s historical Istiklal Avenue in Taksim district, killing six and wounding 81 people. Turkish authorities accused Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the SDF.

Ankara detained dozens of suspects, including Ahlam Albashir, a 23-year-old Syrian national that it deems to be the person who planted the bomb that caused the explosion. In her testimony, Albashir named Bilal Hassan as the person who has sent her to Taksim. According to Turkish police forces, Hassan went fugitive following the attack anf left Turkey.

Citing security sources, Anadolu said Menci was the “terrorist” who guided Albashir and Hassan, the “perpetrators” of the terrorist attack, and helped Hassan flee abroad.

“Found to be located in Qamishli, which is under the control of the YPG, Menci was determined to be protected by the organization,” Anadolu said.

Menci was followed by the MIT's special operations team and neutralized during an operation on Feb.22, it said.