'Most wanted' Syrian Kurdish leader arrested in Prague at Turkey's request

Kurdish Syrian ex-leader Salih Muslim arrested in Prague

Kurdish Syrian ex-leader Salih Muslim arrested in Prague

Saleh Muslim was reportedly attending an worldwide conference in Prague and was arrested at Ankara's request shortly after a Turkish participant took a picture of him.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that Turkish troops now hold a continuous strip of land on the edge of Afrin, opening a corridor that links territory in Aleppo province under the control of the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkey, with the rebel stronghold of Idlib province.

Over the weekend Turkey dealt Syria's Kurds a diplomatic blow, after influential former leader Salih Muslim was taken into custody in the Czech Republic following a Turkish request.

Turkey's policy have detained 845 people for the participation in protests and an Internet campaign against Ankara's operation in Syria's district of Afrin since its start, the Turkish Interior Ministry said in a statement.

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Muslim was put on Turkey's most-wanted list earlier in February with a reward for $1 million.

Turkey says the YPG is an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-old insurgency in southeast Turkey. Interpol would not comment Monday on whether Turkey had sought such a notice and was denied.

Officials in Ankara were in the process of securing the extradition of Muslim, who remained in detention in Prague.

Bozdag said during a live television interview Monday that Turkey's Justice Ministry had sent a "file" formally requesting his extradition.

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Nine people — suspected Kurdish militants — were detained in connection with the attack, which caused damage to the tax office but no casualties.

The PYD is a leading Kurdish political party in northern Syria.

Meanwhile, Turkish armed forces on Monday provided a new count for their Afrin military offensive: 2,059 Kurdish YPG and ISIS "terrorists" have been "neutralised" (killed, wounded or captured) since the start of the offensive on January 20.

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