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Families of US military, government workers ordered home from southern Turkey

"We understand this is disruptive to our military families, but we must keep them safe and ensure the combat effectiveness of our forces to support our strong Ally Turkey in the fight against terrorism."

FoxNews reporting: "Continued security concerns in the region,” as U.S. officials chose to put it, prompted to issue an order for families of U.S. service members and government workers to return home from southern Turkey on Tuesday.

The ground for it was laid when Sky News reported Islamic State terrorists’ plans of an “imminent” attack on Jewish schools in Turkey, with information being received through intelligence recourses.

Though officials said relatives of essential Chief of Mission personnel could stay, the Pentagon and State Department made it clear that dependents of American staffers at the U.S. consulate in Adana, the nearby Incirlik air base and two other locations must leave. The government will fully cover the cost of "ordered departure."

Additionally, the State Department cautioned all American citizens to avoid travelling to the region, especially to areas near the Syrian border, Thursday.

"Stay away from large crowds, including at popular tourist destinations," the department warned in a statement.

In summary, 670 family members or other “dependents” will have to leave Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said. The move should happen "relatively quickly," he added.

"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," Gen. Philip M. Breedlove of U.S. European Command said. "We understand this is disruptive to our military families, but we must keep them safe and ensure the combat effectiveness of our forces to support our strong Ally Turkey in the fight against terrorism."

This action is cited as a temporary measure to insure safety and well being of non-military personnel in the area. Defense officials stated that there’re no plans to keep families out of Turkey permanently and even said that there’s a rising need to preserve military readiness and combat effectiveness of the military forces stationed in the area.

In actuality, this might be a part of a continuous process that began as early as September 2015, after Turkey announced it would take a greater role in the fight against ISIS. At the time, military officials said they had recommended the voluntary departure from Incirlik because of specific calls by militants for lone wolf attacks against the air base.

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

EXPERT OPINION

Joshua Tartakovsky

The most plausible explanation for the order to evacuate US families from the south of Turkey, as well as the tense relations between Obama and Erdogan, is that Erdogan plans a military invasion of north Syria, and Obama does not want it to take place at this time during election year. As I said in the past many times, it is almost inevitable that Erdogan will invade northern Syria.

Read more

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