US Says it and Türkiye Are Sanctioning ISIS-linked Human-smuggling Group

Security forces arrested 49 ISIS members in Ankara, Türkiye. (Reuters)
Security forces arrested 49 ISIS members in Ankara, Türkiye. (Reuters)
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US Says it and Türkiye Are Sanctioning ISIS-linked Human-smuggling Group

Security forces arrested 49 ISIS members in Ankara, Türkiye. (Reuters)
Security forces arrested 49 ISIS members in Ankara, Türkiye. (Reuters)

The United States and Türkiye are working together to crack down on a human smuggling network linked to the ISIS militant movement, the US Treasury Department said on Friday.

After a probe closely coordinated with Ankara, Washington imposed sanctions on four individuals, three of whom were involved in the network, it said in a statement.

"As a result of this close cooperation, (Türkiye) is concurrently taking its own domestic action against this network," it said. The statement did not say how long the group had been operating or how many people it had smuggled.

In May, Turkish authorities said they had detained 41 people suspected of having ties to ISIS in operations across 12 provinces.
ISIS controlled one third of Iraq and Syria at its 2014 peak and though beaten back, it continues to wage insurgent attacks.



Harris Condemns Flag Burning, Hamas Graffiti at Protest in Washington

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
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Harris Condemns Flag Burning, Hamas Graffiti at Protest in Washington

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)

US Vice President Kamala Harris joined Democratic and Republican leaders in condemning protesters who burned American flags and sprayed pro-Hamas graffiti outside Washington's Union Station on Wednesday, describing the acts as unpatriotic and abhorrent.

The protests coincided with a speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Before he spoke, protesters marched near the US Capitol building, condemning US military aid to Israel during its war with Hamas militants in Gaza.

Following Netanyahu's speech, some of the demonstrators gathered in front of Union Station. They hoisted American flags outside the iconic train station, burned American ones and spray painted the words "Hamas is coming" and "Free Gaza" on a large monument.

Harris, the Democrats' presidential candidate, said in a statement on Thursday that she condemns any individuals associating with Hamas.

"I condemn the burning of the American flag. That flag is a symbol of our highest ideals as a nation and represents the promise of America. It should never be desecrated in that way," Harris said.

Harris and Biden were due to hold separate meetings with Netanyahu later on Thursday. More protests were planned for outside the White House.

During the protest on Wednesday, before some of the protesters converged near Union Station, police used pepper spray on some of the thousands of demonstrators present and made some arrests.

The flag burning and graffiti outside Union Station drew strong criticism from Republican US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and Hakeem Jeffries, the chamber's Democratic leader.