Turkey evacuates Basra consulate over ISIL threat

Turkey evacuates Basra consulate over ISIL threat
Tue Jun 17, 2014 21:26:55

Turkey said it evacuated its consulate in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Tuesday for security reasons, a week after foreign backed militant group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacked its mission in Mosul and kidnapped several dozen Turks.

"In the context of the situation in Iraq, and because of the heightened security risk in the Basra region, our consulate general was evacuated today Tuesday," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Twitter.

He said the diplomatic staff were taken to neighboring Kuwait.

ISIL terrorists kidnapped 49 Turks including diplomats and children from the Turkish consulate in Mosul on Wednesday as they captured swathes of northern Iraq.

ISIL, which Turkey included in its list of terrorist organizations in early June, also seized 31 Turkish truck drivers earlier last week.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier "intense efforts" were being made to secure the release of the abducted citizens.

But a Turkish court on Tuesday imposed a blackout on media coverage of the kidnappings "for the security of Turkish citizens".

Turkey’s Syria policy has played a major role in fomenting the conditions that allowed ISIL to capture Mosul.

Ankara, by ignoring its own border security, had allowed its Syria border to become a two-way terrorist “highway.”

Thousands of international terrorists used this highway to reach Syria. Though al-Qaeda outfits did not topple the Damascus government, they made a terrorist “bonanza" of northern Syria thanks to this highway.

From there, they linked with al-Qaeda in Iraq, advancing along the Euphrates Valley. This is how they created synergy between the vacuum caused by the US withdrawal from Iraq and escalating sectarian clashes, allowing them to control Iraq's Sunni-populated major cities.


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