U.S. officials in Turkey have warned Americans in the country of possible terror attacks in Istanbul and other areas within the country.
In a security alert issued Friday, the mission said it received “credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including against the U.S. Consulate General, as well as potentially other locations in Turkey.”
The mission warned U.S. citizens to exercise extra caution in large office buildings, shopping malls and in other places where Americans and other foreigners may gather.
Visa and other services for Americans provided at the mission’s facilities in Turkey have been suspended, the mission said.
The U.S. State Department said Saturday the alert was issued “as a result of ongoing assessments of security conditions” in the country but did not disclose specifics about what prompted the alert.
The alert followed recent U.S. air strikes against al-Qaida forces in Syria, including a strike on Thursday where senior leaders of the terrorist group were said to be meeting.
“[Al-Qaida in Syria] takes advantage of the instability in northwest Syria to establish and maintain safe havens to coordinate activities,” the U.S. military’s Central Command warned in a statement.
Syria’s Idlib province is the last rebel stronghold in the country after a decade of war. Opposition forces that include jihadist fighters continue to repel attacks by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with assistance from Turkey’s military.