A Turkish arms trafficker who supported militants in Syria and even fought along with them early in the conflict has died, Topwar.ru reported on February 24.
The outlet said Heisem Topalca, also known as the “Ghost Commander,” has been smuggling arms to militants in Syria since the outbreak of the war in 2011.
“On February 10, at about 9 pm, a passenger car in which Topalca was with several escorts collided with a truck with license plate 06 KH 8433 on the road near the [Turkish] city of Konya, near the village of Merdivenli,” Topwar wrote describing the accident which claimed the life of Topalca. “After interrogating the truck driver, the police released him, and the bodies of the dead were buried the same day in Hatay province.”
The real name of Topalca is reportedly “Heisem Kassap.” In Syria, the trafficker came to be knonw by his nom de guerre “Abu Salah.”
Topalca was wanted by Turkish authorities for a number of criminal cases. Several arrest warrants were issued against him, yet he was moving freely within Turkey and along the border with Syria.
According to Ahval News, Topalca was suspected of supplying Sarin gas to Syrian militants in Idlib. The Sarin supplied by him may have been used to stage the chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun on April 4 of 2017.
From 2011 to 2014, Topalca made a total of 873 tribes to Syria, where he worked with the Free Syrian Army and the al-Nusra Front [now known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham]. Topalca was possibly involved in the activities of the Turkish secret service in Syria.
The circumstances surrounding Topalca’s death indicate that he may have been murdered in order to prevent him from revealing anything related to his work in Syria.
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