Thursday, June 12, 2014

Turkey ignored direct warnings of ISIS attack on Mosul - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Turkey ignored direct warnings of ISIS attack on Mosul - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

As Turkish leaders scramble to find a way out of the crisis, details of the security lapses that led to the storming of the consulate are beginning to emerge. Unless the hostages are released unharmed, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could face a political crisis of a scale that might yet torpedo his candidacy for the August presidential race.
What we know
On June 6, the governor of Mosul, Atheel al-Nujaifi, put in an emergency call to Kareem Sinjari, the interior minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq saying that ISIS was about to take over the city. Sinjari swiftly spread the word, a full five days before the attack occurred. It is unthinkable that the Turks were not aware of the danger. Yet they apparently did not feel threatened enough to evacuate the consulate. Indeed, as recently as June 10, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declared that there was no threat to Turkey’s Consul General Ozturk Yilmaz and his staff. Davutoglu has since changed his tune, now saying that the security environment to travel by land to Erbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital, had rendered evacuation impossible. Never mind that it’s just a 40-minute drive from Mosul. In the worst-case scenario, Turkey could have used helicopters to evacuate the personnel. Turkey has around 2.000 troops stationed on the Iraqi side of the Turkish-Iraqi border, nominally there to chase Kurdistan Workers Party fighters if need be, and they have helicopters.


Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/mosul-turkish-consulate-isis-ankara-syria-iraq-kidnappings.html#ixzz34SE3GWYm
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