Turkey
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Members of an Iranian cell which plotted to kidnap Israeli citizens in Turkey stayed at the very same hotel as their intended victims, Turkish media reported.

According to a report by the Daily Sabah, Turkish authorities had advanced knowledge of the Iranian plot to kidnap Israelis, and was aware of the presence of Iranian agents in the country.

The cell was broken up by Turkish police last month, though few details of the crackdown were published.

The Israeli government emphasized that the operation was the result of cooperation between Jerusalem and Ankara.

On Sunday, the Daily Sabah reported that during the crackdown, eight Iranians were arrested, all of them allegedly members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The terrorists, who had been dispatched to Turkey to avenge the apparent assassinations of prominent IRGC officers and Iranian military scientists, had plotted to kidnap or murder Israeli tourists in Istanbul.

The eight terrorists were nabbed at three different locations across the city, before they had a chance to act on their plans.

The report also revealed that some of the eight Iranian agents were staying at a hotel in the Taksim Square area on the European side of Istanbul.

A group of Israeli tourists were staying at the very same hotel, the report claimed, including the former Israeli consul-general in Istanbul, Yosef Levi Sfari.

Sfari, the Israeli tourists at the hotel, and another group of Israeli tourists in Istanbul were among those targeted in the plot.

Turkish authorities undertook a clandestine operation to relocate the Israelis from the hotel, without drawing the attention of the Iranian agents.

One member of the tourist group at the hotel near Taksim Square began to cry in the lobby, after hearing that the group was targeted by the Iranian cell.

Local police were contacted and officers dispatched to the hotel.

While taking statements from hotel officials and the Israeli tourists before the tourists were relocated, officers noted that the tourists became extremely uneasy after they spotted several Iranians entering the hotel.

Sunday’s report also revealed some of the weapons an equipment Turkish authorities confiscated during the arrest of the Iranian cell, including three pistols equipped with silences, and a motorcycle.