BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 P.M.) – During his trial, a Turkish officer said that in 2016, Turkish Special Forces snipers received orders from their commander to target Syrian Arab Army soldiers in the border area between the two countries.
The Turkish newspaper, Zaman, reported on Saturday, that these statements came from the non-commissioned officer, Darwish Tash, during his trial on charges of being involved in the events of the failed coup attempt in Turkey in mid-July 2016.
The newspaper quoted the officer as saying in his defense, during a court session, that the Turkish Special Forces were obliged to carry out all orders from their command, whatever they were.
To clarify this matter, the officer revealed instructions that he said he had received eight and a half months before the attempted coup from the commander of the Special Forces at the time, Major General Zakai Aksakali, when he was performing service in the ranks of the Special Forces units deployed in the Iskenderun Brigade in the Hatay Province.
The newspaper pointed out that the attorney for the Presidency of the Republic, Suleiman Ayhan, tried to make the soldier retract the story of the incident, but the court allowed the accused to continue the conversation.
Tash continued, according to the newspaper, that Aksakali visited his squad in February or March 2016, when it was deployed in the Yaila Mountain overlooking the border, and he issued the following order: “Command your snipers to shoot at the soldiers of the Syrian regime.”
The newspaper pointed out that the attorney for the Presidency of the Republic objected to these statements, and claimed that Aksakali was intending to shoot at ISIS members, and boycotted Tash in his defense.