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August 29, 2014, Friday
Ankara rejects KRG's call for help against ISIL, report says
August 29, 2014, Friday/ 17:44:49/ TODAY'S ZAMAN / ANKARA
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The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq has requested military help from Turkey against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), but Ankara rejected this request, a report has claimed.
Speaking to the Rudaw television channel in Arbil, the capital of northern Iraq, on Thursday, the KRG's chief of staff to the president, Fuad Hussein, claimed that he secretly traveled to Turkey on Aug. 2 and asked Turkish officials for assistance against the ISIL militants.
Hussein told Rudaw that his request for military aid against ISIL was rejected by the Turkish authorities, due to the Aug. 10 presidential election in Turkey and the fact that 49 Turkish nationals from the Turkish Consulate General in Mosul were kidnapped by ISIL militants on June 11. The Turkish government imposed a gag order on the media regarding the hostage crisis, citing that reporting on the issue would risk the lives of the hostages, effectively preventing the local media from questioning the issue.
“Although we are denied military support against ISIL, we have received humanitarian aid and we continue to receive it from Turkey,” said Hussein.
ISIL has been advancing swiftly through Syria and then Iraq in recent months. The terrorist organization's capture of Mosul and later seizing the Turkish Consulate General building in the city and kidnapping the Turkish nationals in June, including Turkish Consul General Öztürk Yılmaz, plus recent beheadings, including that of US journalist James Foley, have prompted a strong international reaction. US President Barack Obama has ordered military strikes against ISIL and is currently working on building a coalition in the region, including Turkey.
Keywords: ankara , krg , ISIL
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