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US military families out of Turkey – Pentagon
March 29, 2016, 7:23 pm

A suicide bomber killed three foreigners and two Turks in Istiklal street, popular with tourists, in central Istanbul March 19 [Xinhua]

A suicide bomber killed three foreigners and two Turks in Istiklal street, popular with tourists, in central Istanbul March 19 [Xinhua]


The Pentagon has cited security concerns for its recall of military families from diplomatic posts and army bases in southern Turkey.

“The decision to move our families and civilians was made in consultation with the Government of Turkey, our State Department, and our Secretary of Defense,” General Philip M. Breedlove, commander of US European Command, said in a statement made to the media.

Europe is on high alert following last week’s attacks in Brussels, which killed 35 people and injured hundreds.

Islamic State social media accounts claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Subsequent raids on terror suspects in Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands – coupled with Islamic State propaganda videos promising more attacks – prompted US officials to remove non-essential personnel from southern Turkey.

Southern Turkey has in the past few months been embroiled in a re-intensified war with the terrorist group Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).

But there have also been a number of deadly bombings and suicide bomber attacks in Istanbul and the capital Ankara in recent months.

The attacks intensified after Turkey joined the US-led coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

On Tuesday, the US State Department also issued a travel warning that all US citizens should be aware of increased terrorist threats and “to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey”.

There are thousands of US military personnel throughout a number of locations in Turkey, with most at the Incirlik air force base near the city of Adana in the south.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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