Turkey, World, Middle East

Turkey advises citizens not to travel to Iraq

Foreign Ministry warns citizens in Iraq amid recent tensions following US airstrike in Baghdad killing top Iranian commander

Sibel Morrow   | 03.01.2020
Turkey advises citizens not to travel to Iraq

ANKARA

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a travel advisory on Friday, asking its citizens to delay trips to Iraq amid the strained tension in the country. 

“Our citizens are advised to refrain from traveling to Iraq at this point unless it is necessary,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, citing the recent tension in the wake of a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad killing a top Iranian commander.

"It is recommended that our citizens currently in Iraq closely follow warnings issued by the ministry, avoid crowded places and be vigilant about their personal security," the statement added. 

The U.S. confirmed earlier on Friday the killing of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior commander of Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Units, in an airstrike.

Following the death of an American contractor in rocket attacks on a U.S. base in Iraq last week, Washington carried out a series of strikes on Sunday that led to the deaths of at least 25 fighters from the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia group.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was then attacked by a large crowd of angry protesters on Tuesday, leading to a two-day standoff between U.S. forces and protesters.

The U.S. said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region."

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