Sectarian fanaticism has no place in our values Turkey's PM said at a press conference on Thursday in light of the conflict between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Iraqi army Anadolu Agency reported
PM Erdogan said that the release of the eighty citizens was a highly sensitive operation and their foremost priority was to safely bring them home.
He also said that the U.S. is unwilling to become involved because of the potential heavy civilian loss of life taking into account the sensitivity of such an operation where locals and ISIL elements are intermingled. Additionally, he noted that the Iraqi army abandoning its positions and fleeing was very significant.
ISIL militants abducted 31 Turkish truck drivers and 49 Turkish Consulate staff including the consul general and family members last week in Mosul.
ISIL, which already controls parts of Syria, has extended its reach into Iraq since June 10, when it seized Iraq's second-largest city Mosul and soon afterwards took near-complete control of the northern city of Tikrit.
Iraq has seen a marked increase in sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims in recent months, which the Iraqi government blames on ISIL.