State Dept. Closes Ankara Embassy

TruNews – March 5, 2018

Citing U.S. intelligence officials’ threat assessments that determined a “shadow group” within Turkey that is plotting attacks on the American embassy in Ankara, Turkey and other places where U.S. citizens might gather, the State Department has closed the embassy.

The statement announcing the closure also urged Americans traveling to Turkey to avoid crowds and the embassy, and to be cognizant of their surroundings when visiting popular tourist destinations. Embassy security has been increased, and all visa interviews and regular business meetings have been cancelled as a precaution.

The statement also announces that only “emergency services” will be provided at the embassy in Ankara. It coincides with a report in the state-run Anadolu news agency that announced the arrests of 12 people and the indictments of eight others related to terrorist activity in the Turkish capital city.

Ties between the U.S. and its NATO ally have been strained to the breaking point in recent weeks, in particular over U.S. support for YPG Kurdish fighters in Syria, and over the refusal to turn over a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is suspected of organizing an attempted coup. Turkish military leaders have warned their American counterparts that any U.S. soldier armed and working alongside YPG fighters will be considered “targets.”