Written by Andrew Arnett
GAZIANTEP — The U.S. Embassy in Ankara has issued a warning stating militant groups may be planning an attack on certain locations inside the Turkish city of Gaziantep, located near the Syrian border.
Issued on December 3, the warning states that “extremist groups may be planning an attack against the Syrian Interim Government building located near the Fevzi çakmak park and the Kalyon Kavşagi roundabout in Gaziantep, Turkey. We remind U.S. citizens that the situation in southeast Turkey, while usually calm, can change without warning and U.S. citizens should avoid traveling in areas close to the Syrian border.”
The warning also advised that “U.S. citizens should take precaution in any meetings with individuals claiming to represent or be affiliated with anyone involved in the Syrian conflict.”
The Syrian Interim Government building houses the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, an internationally recognized group apposed to the Assad regime in Syria. It receives logistical support from Turkey’s Justice and Development Party which assists in coordinating efforts to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
This group was formed in November of 2013 and set up headquarters in Gaziantep early this year.
According to Reuters, the group “exists to provide local services and support in rebel-held areas in Syria but fighting, political squabbling and the reluctance of donors to support a partisan body have limited its influence.”
The warning did not specify what group is planning the attack, such as the Islamic State, or ISIS, which is currently engaged in a fierce battle with Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobane just south of Gaziantep.