NATO Holds Emergency Meeting over Iraq ISIL Activity
Alliance ambassadors convened late Wednesday upon request by Turkey after a terrorist group took tens of Turkish citizens hostage in Iraq.
At the meeting in Brussels NATO ambassadors discussed the situation in Iraq, where militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) kidnapped 80 people at the Turkish Consulate in Mosul.
The head of Turkey's mission to the city was also among those abducted.
Turkey's Daily Sabah reports the meeting was not called under Article 4 of NATO founding treaty (the one allowing consultations when there is a threat to any member's territory), but took place only for information purposes.
The UN Security Council also denounced the actions at the Turkish consulate in Mosul.
US Vice President Joe Biden was quoted by the BBC as offering assistance to Ankara.
Abductions in Iraq followed attacks carried out by ISIL in Mosul and Tirkit, two of the major Iraqi cities, which were captured by militants.
In Mosul alone, the activity of ISIL has forced 500 000 people to flee.
The UN reports of a "dire" humanitarian situation around the city.
Iraqi officials have confirmed that Tikrit, the hometown of former leader Saddam Hussein and capital of the Salahuddin province, is being held by hundreds of militants and also that the provincial governor missing.
ISIL, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, claims control of territories in the east of Syria and the also in Western and Central Iraq and is seeking to create its own enclave.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has requested the Iraqi parliament that a state of emergency be declared following the latest events.
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