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US suspends non-immigrant visas in Turkey
The U.S. Mission to Turkey says it is suspending non-immigrant visas in Turkey, following the arrest of a consulate employee.
The U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara tweeted a statement on Sunday saying that recent events have forced it to "reassess the commitment of the Government of Turkey to the security of U.S. Mission facilities and personnel."
This week, Turkish authorities arrested a U.S. Consulate employee of Turkish nationality for alleged links to the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who the Turkish government blames for last summer's failed coup. Gulen denies involvement. The embassy said it was "deeply disturbed."
The Turkish President Erdogan announced the start of a Turkish operation in Idleb province of Syria. Idelb has been for years under the control of al-Qaeda in Syria, currently under the label Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. In the talks in Astana, Turkey, Russia and Iran agreed on a deescalation zone in Idelb to be supervised by all three of them. But the fight against al-Qaeda, aka HTS, would continue. Turkey is supposed to control the western part of the province including the city of Idleb. But the Turkish government is afraid to go there.