US Embassy in Turkey closes due to security threat

Mar 06, 2018, 01:49
US Embassy in Turkey closes due to security threat

Turkish police in the Black Sea city of Samsun on Monday apprehended four Iraqi nationals who they said were Islamic State (IS) members preparing an attack on the United States Embassy in the country. Police have taken high security measures outside the US embassy.

"The decision to close the American embassy is not a political one, it was taken on security grounds", Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said at a news conference.

The embassy said it would be closed on Monday because of a "security threat", without giving further details. "The Embassy will announce its reopening, once it resumes services".

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Several digital documents were seized in the operation, the agency reported.

The Ankara prosecutor said 12 suspects had been detained after it issued 20 arrest warrants as part of an operation against IS, state news agency Anadolu reported. Two others were detained in Samsun.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the US embassy had shared intelligence with Turkey's intelligence and security authorities, leading to "important results".

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All suspects were foreign nationals, although officials did not specify their nationalities.

The U.S. Embassy was the target of a suicide bombing in 2013 by a militant from the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which killed a Turkish security guard.

A total of 3,000 Daesh terrorists were killed in Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria, Bozdağ said, while 1,000 others were killed trying to attack the Turkish camp in Iraq's Bashiqa. Turkish troops and proxy forces are attacking the US-supported Kurdish militias, which the Turkish government considers a security threat. An attack at a luxury Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations on January 1, 2017, killed 39 people.

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