Turkey’s intelligence service has thwarted a plot to abduct commanders of Syria’s rebel Free Syrian Army from its tent camp in Turkey, local media said on Thursday.
The Sabah newspaper said police arrested a female Syrian intelligence officer and her Syrian and Turkish assistants on February 25. Notes revealing her plans to abduct Syrian rebel commanders were found during a search.
She reportedly was plotting to abduct defected Syrian colonel Riad al-Assad, the current head of the Free Syria Army, his main rival, defected Syrian general Mustafa Sheikh and other top officers in the rebel forces.
The officer and her group are to face trial on espionage charges.
The Free Syrian Army, formed last fall mainly of deserters from the Syrian armed forces, is an armed wing of the opposition Syrian National Council. The Council unites parties, groups, political and public figures mainly from outside Syria. Its main demands are the immediate resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and new parliamentary elections.
Both Western and Arab nations increased their pressure on Assad’s regime, calling for an immediate end to bloodshed in Syria, which according to Syrian rights groups has claimed more than 7,000 lives since the uprising against the current authorities began 11 months ago.