Ankara ordered Turkish special forces in Mosul not to clash with ISIL
ISIL militants took down the Turkish flag at the Mosul consulate. An Iraqi eyewitness told daily Hürriyet that a number of the militants in the compound are now wearing the camouflage gear that the Turkish special forces left behind. (İpek YEZDANİ)Ankara instructed the special forces protecting the Turkish consulate in Mosul not to engage in clashes with militants of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who besieged the compound, Turkish media reported on June 13.
Forty-nine Turkish citizens, including thee consul general in Mosul and several members of the Turkish special forces, were taken hostage by ISIL and transferred to an undisclosed place on June 11.
One hostage posted a message on an Internet forum used by Turkish special forces members, daily Vatan reported. The message states that ISIL besieged the compound with “900 specially trained commandos” as Turks in the compound positioned snipers on rooftops to resist.
“They had mortars, DShK and PK-type heavy machine guns, RPGs and four tanks that they stole from the Iraqi army. We told the Foreign Ministry that we would clash until we ran out of ammunition, but the Foreign Ministry told us not to, saying ‘We can’t lose our personnel so blatantly,” the special forces member reportedly stated on the forum.
“We didn’t open the doors for almost two hours. We opened it after the order from Ankara,” he continued. The message added that the captured personnel did not deliver their own weapons to ISIL, and also stated that they personally drove their own vehicles to the area where the militants took them.
It is not clear how the special forces members managed to communicate with Turkey while still in captivity in Mosul.
In the same forum, it is also claimed that the Turkish staff of the consulate are being held in a hotel in the Köprü region of Mosul. Photos showing members of the Turkish special forces in Iraq before the raid were also shared in the forum.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç confirmed the reports during his press conference on June 13.
"I believe we took the best decision concerning people's lives. [The security staff of the consulate] were waiting with fingers on the trigger, but there were women and children present, too," Arınç said. "Is it wise to instruct them to clash [with ISIL militants] or to leave securely?"