Nato won’t intervene in Iraq violence, secretary general says
Nato has so far ruled out any military action in Iraq (File/AFP)
Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the 28-nation military alliance will not intervene in Iraq, which has witnessed a wave of Takfiri violence in recent days.
“Let me stress that I do not see a role for Nato in Iraq, but of course we follow the situation closely and we urge all parties involved to stop the violence,” Rasmussen said on Thursday.
The Nato chief further slammed as a “criminal act” the recent abduction of Turkish consulate staff members by Takfiri militants in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, calling for the immediate release of the captives. Turkey is a Nato member.
“I strongly condemn the violence we have seen in Iraq. I strongly condemn the hostage taking,” said Rasmussen, stressing, “We urge the hostage takers to release the hostages immediately.”
On June 11, terrorists from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stormed the Turkish consulate in Mosul and kidnapped 49 people, including the head of the mission. Reports said the militants had also abducted 31 Turkish truck drivers in the Iraqi city a day earlier.
The abductions took place after the Takfiri militants gained control of parts of Iraq’s northern areas, including Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province, on June 10.
Fierce clashes are reportedly underway between Iraqi armed forces and the extremist militants, who have threatened to take their acts of violence to other Iraqi cities, including the capital, Baghdad.
The United Nations Security Council has condemned the recent attacks on Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul by Takfiri militants and the abduction of Turkish consulate staff members.