Turkish news reports that 12 members of the Syrian rebel faction, al-Nusra Front have been arrested in the city of Adana in Turkey.
The arrests on Monday follow operations by Turkey’s Department of Intelligence and Counterterrorism Team, during which they monitored and set up surveillance on 12 men they suspected were members of the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front – a faction of the Syrian rebel coalition fighting against the Assad regime.
At the time of the arrest the authorities seized documents, digital data, communications and other electronic equipment, as well as 2Kg of the nerve agent sarin.
The Turkish anti-terrorist team are said to be ‘highly concerned’ by the discovery of sarin in the hands of the group, who they suspect were going to use the nerve agent in the city of Adana, which is approximately 300km from the Syrian border.
The al-Nusra Front was officially designated a terrorist organisation by the United States in December 2012, but have been a pivotal part of the Syrian opposition forces against the Assad regime
Known as fierce and disciplined fighters, they have been described as the ‘special forces’ of the Free Syrian Army and have contributed to many of the rebel factions successful offensives.
The nerve agent sarin has been at the centre of the Syrian conflict, with the Assad regime being accused by the west of using the gas on combatants and civilians during the conflict.
However, recently concrete evidence of the use of sarin by the rebels has caused concern worldwide.