Turkey: US Consulate in Istanbul suspends services amid “terrorist” threats
Potential attacks and kidnappings could occur in Istanbul and elsewhere in the country, diplomats said.
The US diplomatic mission in Turkey warned the Americans in the country about possible terrorist attacks in Istanbul and other parts of the country.
In a warning issued on Friday, the mission said it received “credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and abductions of US citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including attacks against the US Consulate General.”.
The diplomatic mission urged Americans to exercise special caution in large office buildings, shopping centers and other places where US citizens and other foreigners may gather. The diplomatic mission said that visa and other services for Americans, provided by the mission in Turkey, were suspended.
The US State Department said on Saturday that the warning was issued “as a result of an ongoing assessment of security conditions” in the country, but did not disclose details of what triggered the warning..
The warning follows recent US air strikes on al-Qaeda forces in Syria, including Thursday on a site where high-ranking terrorist leaders were reportedly gathering..
“(Al Qaeda in Syria) is exploiting the instability in northwest Syria to create and maintain safe havens to coordinate (terrorist group) actions,” warns US Central Command in a statement.
Syrian province of Idlib is the last rebel stronghold in the country after years of civil war. With the support of the Turkish military, opposition forces, which include jihadist fighters, continue to repel attacks by the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
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