The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu commented on Thursday about the participation of Mihrac Ural, known as the “Butcher of Baniyas,” as a representative of the Bashar al-Assad regime in the Sochi conference, saying that Ural had used forged documents to travel.
The Daily Sabah newspaper quoted the Turkish minister as saying that “the terrorist Mihrac Ural participated in the Sochi conference with forged documents and Ankara has asked Moscow to hand him over.’
Cavusoglu said that Turkey had expressed its anger to Russia about the participation of the terrorist, who is on the “red list” of wanted terrorists, after seeing a photo of him with a number of conference participants.
He said that Ural’s name was not on the list of those invited which Russia sent to Turkey and that Russia had claimed he had participated in the conference with forged documents, adding that “Russian President Putin is following up on the issue personally.”
Ural, or Ali Kayyali, who holds Turkish and Syrian citizenship, is the commander of the “Syrian Resistance” militia which is concentrated in the Lattakia countryside.
These forces, led by Ural, were responsible for the Bayda massacre in the Tartous countryside, which killed more than 50 people in 2013, while he is directly responsible for a number of massacres, namely the Baniyas massacre in May of the same year, which saw the death of dozens of people. Eyewitnesses and rights organizations claim the victims were burned and stabbed.
Ural appeared in an infamous video in 2013 after the massacre with a group of his soldiers stressing to them of the importance of clamping down on Baniyas and cleansing it of “traitors.”
Ural has also been accused by Turkey of carrying out a bombing in the city of Reyhanli in 2013, which killed 52 Turkish citizens and was aimed at creating anger against Syrians’ presence in the Turkish border province of Hatay.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.