Four kidnapped Turks saved by Iraqi Turkmens
Sevil ERKUŞ - ANKARA
Iraqi Shiite Turkmen families fleeing the violence in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar, west of Mosul arrive at Shangal, a town in Nineveh province, June 17, 2014. REUTERS/ Ari JalaTurkmen groups have provided the release of four Turkish workers kidnapped by local tribes, a Turkish official has told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Officials said the four Turkish workers were part of a group of 44 foreign workers kidnapped by armed members of local tribes in southern Kirkuk just a few days ago.
A Turkmen head of the police department contacted members of the tribes and demanded the release of all kidnapped workers. As a result, all 44 were released, officials said, adding that these four workers were on their way to Turkey as of late afternoon.
The development came a day after a delegation led by Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Feridun Sinirlioğlu held meetings in northern Iraq to coordinate Turkish assistance to Turkmen groups and to mull over ways to secure the release of the Turkish hostages.
‘52,000 Iraqi soldiers fled Mosul on the raid day’
On the day when up to 3,000 jihadist militants attacked and seized control of Mosul, the Iraqi army had some 52,000 troops stationed in the city, according to Turkish diplomatic sources, who said all these soldiers fled the country’s second largest city without any sign of defense.
“According to our information, there were around 52,000 Iraqi troops in Mosul and surrounding regions. The number of militants was 2,000 to 3,000,” the sources said. The information came few hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan implied that Iraqi troops had withdrawn from Mosul to leave the city’s control to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Erdoğan had earlier criticized Iraqi government for not protecting the Turkish consulate in Mosul and its staff. On the day when Mosul fell into the hands of the ISIL, the militants kidnapped 49 of its personnel, a day after it also abducted 31 Turkish truck drivers, making the sum total of abductees 80. There is no fresh news about the situation regarding these Turkish hostages.