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Turkey urges all citizens to leave Iraq immediately

Turkey urges all citizens to leave Iraq immediately

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Date: 10 December 2015 04:07

Turkey’s foreign ministry issued a statement calling for any citizens in Iraq to leave immediately, Sputnik reported.

"We strongly advise those whose stay is not essential to leave those provinces as soon as possible," the statements reads. "The scope of our travel warning to Iraq has expanded to include all provinces except for Dohuk, Arbil and Sulaymaniyah."

All of the exempted provinces are in the northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The foreign ministry cites increased security risks, such as threats targeting Turkish businesses, as well as concerns over violence, abduction, and other attacks.

In addition, the statement warns any Turkish citizens currently residing in the Iraqi Kurdish region to avoid any area where anti-terror operations are being carried out against Daesh, also known as ISIL/the Islamic State.

The statement comes amid rising tensions between Ankara and Baghdad. Last week, hundreds of Turkish troops and artillery units entered northern Iraq. Viewing the incident as a breach of sovereignty, the Iraqi government gave Turkey 48 hours to remove the military units.

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