MOSCOW, September 20 (RIA Novosti) - Turkey did not pay ransom for the 49 hostages held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants who were freed on Saturday, Reuters Reported Saturday.
The claim acquired from an unnamed source by the NTV Turkish news agency is contrary to what the Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, stated on Saturday. President Erdogan claimed that the release of the 49 Turkish hostages, which did not involve any clashes with the militants, was a "pre-planned operation" by the Turkish intelligence agency (MIT), according to the Reuters report.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced the safe arrival of the hostages on Saturday, according to Reuters. The hostages including Turkey's consul-general, diplomats' children, and special forces soldiers held captive in Iraq since June, returned home with the help of MIT.
The Turks were seized from the Turkish consulate in Iraq by IS on June 11 when the Sunni militants overran Mosul and stormed the consulate.
The IS also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a radical Sunni group, which has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched attacks in northern and western Iraq later announcing the establishment of a caliphate on its conquered territories in Syria and Iraq.