June 12, 2014

Militants seize Turkish consulate, take 80 Turks hostage in Iraqi city of Mosul

Militants seize Turkish consulate, take 80 Turks hostage in Iraqi city of Mosul -

 

The Turkish Consul-General in Mosul, Ozturk Yilmaz, several members of Turkey’s special forces and three children were among those taken hostage by the ISIS militants, Reuters reported citing sources in the Turkish prime minister’s office.

 

Jihadist insurgents have kidnapped 49 people in the Turkish consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and 31 Turkish truck drivers in separate attacks, Ankara said. Al-Qaeda offshoot ISIS has been advancing on the cities north of Baghdad.

Militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS / ISIL) have captured 49 Turkish citizens at the Mosul consulate, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday. As many as 31 Turkish drivers have also been taken hostage by the militants in separate incidents and are being held at a power station in Mosul, the ministry added.

The Turkish Consul-General in Mosul, Ozturk Yilmaz, several members of Turkey’s special forces and three children were among those taken hostage by the ISIS militants, Reuters reported citing sources in the Turkish prime minister’s office.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has summoned an emergency meeting of NATO to discuss the security situation in Iraq. Ambassadors of the NATO member states met in Brussels. However, no announcements were immediately made following the meeting.

Erdogan earlier held an emergency meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Turkish intelligence chief and the chief of general staff, and talked with US Vice President Joe Bide.

According to Turkish media, the captors have been holding diplomats in militant headquarters and unharmed.

An Islamist Twitter account, @Dawla_NewsMedia, which has been tweeting photos and pro-ISIS reports from the scene, claimed that the Turkish diplomats have been moved “to an unknown location.”The account has since been blocked by Twitter. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reportedly cut short his visit to the US and flew back to Ankara in connection with the Mosul hostage-taking. Davutoglu was due to deliver a speech at a UN counter-terrorism meeting in New York.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry meanwhile said it was verifying the information amid conflicting reports.

The radical Sunni militants have already taken hostage at least 32 Turkish nationals – truck drivers – in the area since Tuesday, according to Hurriyet.

Meanwhile, Reuters sources suggested Ankara has been in “direct contact” with the militants over the situation. 


“Certain militant groups in Mosul have been directly contacted to ensure the safety of diplomatic staff,” a Turkish government source told the agency. 

The Turkish government has earlier been accused of assisting jihadist groups fighting in Syria against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government. Damascus complained to the UN in March that Turkey was providing cover to rebels crossing the border from Turkish territory, which allegedly included several Al-Qaeda affiliates.

A military source told Al Arabiya news channel that Kurdish forces are reportedly fighting ISIS militants in Kirkuk to stop their offensive.

         
       Kantsasar Weekly  Diario Armenia