Coalition destroyed ISIL-occupied Turkish consulate in Mosul with Turkey’s consent: Ankara
ANKARAAircraft from a U.S.-led coalition have destroyed the Turkish consulate compound in Mosul, which has been occupied by fighters of the Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since June 2014, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said.
“The compound of our Mosul Consulate-General, which has been under DAESH [ISIL] occupation since 2014 and where, according to intelligence, high-level DAESH terrorists were occupying, was targeted and destroyed by war aircraft belonging to members of the International Coalition for the Fight against DAESH at 3 a.m. on April 4,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement issue early on April 4.
“Turkey’s views and approval were taken at all stages concerning the preparation and execution of the said operation,” the ministry said.
“Our country will continue fighting against DAESH in coordination and cooperation with the international coalition in the activities in which it has participated since the beginning,” the ministry said.
Around three months ago, U.S. officials contacted Ankara and informed that they had intelligence affirming that ISIL had turned the consulate general building virtually into “a headquarters,” and asked for permission to hit the building.
Turkish and U.S. officials were in contact on the issue late last week and jointly decided on the timing of the operation.
The operation took place at 3.00 a.m. on April 4 and continued for around 40 minutes, with the Foreign Ministry making it public at 03.45 a.m., soon after the operation was completed.
The İncirlik Air Base in Turkey’s southern province of Adana was not used by the coalition aircrafts that conducted the operation, according to Turkish military sources.
It is thought that ISIL fighters were inside the building during the operation.
ISIL militants stormed Turkey’s consulate general in Mosul on June 11, 2014, taking hostage then-Consul General Öztürk Yılmaz, now a member of the parliament for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), along with 48 other people. After being held for 101 days, the hostages were finally freed on Sept. 20, 2014, likely as a result of a swap deal that was not denied by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.