Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Turkey Urges All Citizens To Leave Iraq Immediately, Putin Raises Possibility Of Using Nuclear Weapons

Turkey Urges All Citizens to Leave Iraq Immediately

Citing security risks, the Turkish government has warned any of its citizens traveling in Iraq – excluding Kurdish provinces – to leave at once.

On Wednesday, Turkey’s foreign ministry issued a statement calling for any citizens in Iraq to leave immediately.
"We strongly advise those whose stay is not essential to leave those provinces as soon as possible," the statements reads. "The scope of our travel warning to Iraq has expanded to include all provinces except for Dohuk, Arbil and Sulaymaniyah."

All of the exempted provinces are in the northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan.
The foreign ministry cites increased security risks, such as threats targeting Turkish businesses, as well as concerns over violence, abduction, and other attacks.
In addition, the statement warns any Turkish citizens currently residing in the Iraqi Kurdish region to avoid any area where anti-terror operations are being carried out against Daesh, also known as ISIL/the Islamic State.

The statement comes amid rising tensions between Ankara and Baghdad. Last week, hundreds of Turkish troops and artillery units entered northern Iraq. Viewing the incident as a breach of sovereignty, the Iraqi government gave Turkey 48 hours to remove the military units.

"The Iraqi government confirms its firm and categorical rejection of any action of this kind issued by any country and violates our national sovereignty and we will treat any foreign ground combat troops sent by any country as a hostile act and deal with it on that basis," reads a statement on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s website.

Baghdad has said it will file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council over the matter.

"Nominally the NATO allies of Turkey have supported it in the confrontation with the Russian air force, but in fact there’s a lot of grumbling; no one is happy about this confrontation."

Vladimir Putin has said he hopes nuclear warheads will not be needed to deal with terrorists, after Russia launched cruise missiles from its submarine at Syria.
During a meeting in the Kremlin, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told the President that Kalibr cruise missiles had been fired by the submerged Rostov-on-Don submarine from the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. 
He said TU-22 bombers also took part in the latest raids and that "significant damage" had been done to a munitions depot, a factory manufacturing mortar rounds and oil facilities. Two major targets in Raqqa, the defacto capital of Isis, had been hit, said Mr Shoigu.
President Putin said the new cruise missiles could also be equipped with nuclear warheads - but that he hoped they would never need them.

He said: "With regard to strikes from a submarine. We certainly need to analyse everything that is happening on the battlefield, how the weapons work. Both the [Kalibr] missiles and the Kh-101 rockets are generally showing very good results. We now see that these are new, modern and highly effective high-precision weapons that can be equipped either with conventional or special nuclear warheads."

"Naturally, we do not need that in fighting terrorists, and I hope we will never need it. But overall, this speaks to our significant progress in terms of improving weaponry and equipment being supplied to the Russian army and navy."

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