Nine killed and US consulate attacked as violence rocks Turkey
TURKEY was hit by a wave of terror attacks, including a shoot-out at the US consulate yesterday, a day after the country had opened its Incirlik airbase to American fighter jets.
Nine people were killed in separate incidents across Turkey, which has increased its co-operation with the US-led coalition in recent weeks, as well as launching its own strikes against Isil (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and Kurdish militias.
Yesterday morning, two female militants opened fire on police stationed in front of the US consulate in Istanbul's Sarriyer district.
One of the women was later captured. Outlawed radical Marxist group the Revolutionary People's Liberation Front (DHKP-C), which has called Washington the "arch enemy" of the Middle East, claimed responsibility for the attack.
It followed a bombing overnight in Istanbul's Sultanbeyli district, when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-filled car into a police station.
One of the attackers was killed during the bombing, while two others and a police officer died in a subsequent firefight. The attackers' identities were not known.
Elsewhere, five security officials were killed in separate attacks in the south-eastern province of Sirnak. Local media reported that four policemen were killed when their armoured vehicle drove near a remotely detonated mine.
They had been en route to fill in trenches dug by the Kurdish PKK separatist group in the area.
Separately, an attack by Kurdish militants on a helicopter killed a Turkish soldier and wounded seven more.
The attacks came as US forces ramped up their presence in the country in preparation for a revived campaign against Isil.
On Sunday, the Pentagon announced a detachment of six F-16s had been transferred from Italy to Turkey's Incirlik airbase. About 300 personnel were also deployed to the base, which is 100 miles from the Syrian border.
Turkey had initially shown reluctance to allow US air strikes against Isil to be launched from Incirlik. But the Suruc bombing last month, which killed 32 Kurdish and Turkish socialist activists just six miles from the Syrian border, and which was blamed on Isil, has prompted increased co-operation. (© Daily Telegraph, London)