Turkey arrests 9 British nationals seeking to cross to Syria: army

A Turkish army armoured personnel carrier is stationed in the Nusaybin district on the border with Syria’s northeastern city of Qamishli in the Hasakeh province on March 7, 2015 (AFP Photo/Delil Souleiman)

Istanbul (AFP) – Turkey has arrested nine British nationals on the Syrian border as they sought to illegally cross over from Turkey, the army said on Thursday.

“Nine people of British nationality were arrested on the border trying to enter Syria from Turkey,” the army said in a statement on its website, adding that the arrests took place in the Hatay region of southern Turkey.

The army gave no further details on the identities and intentions of those arrested.

Turkey has in the last months been repeatedly criticised by its Western allies for not doing enough to halt the flow across Turkish territory of European nationals seeking to join (IS) jihadists in Syria.

However it has made a number of arrests in recent months and insists it is doing all it can to control the border.

A group of nine British medical students of Sudanese origin went missing last month after travelling to Turkey with the apparent aim of crossing into Syria to join IS…