(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone Wednesday morning with his Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke by phone this morning during which they discussed their "mutual concern about the deteriorating security situation in Mosul city, north Iraq.
The conversation focused on the despicable attack by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the Turkish consulate in the city, "which we condemn in the strongest terms," State Department Spokesperson Jennifer Psaki told reporters.
"We join Turkey and the international community in calling for the immediate release of Turkey's kidnapped diplomatic personnel," she said.
She reiterated the U.S. "commitment to working with the Iraqi government and leaders across Iraq to support a unified approach against ISIL's continued aggression." "We are in touch with the governments of Turkey and Iraq and stand ready to provide any appropriate assistance," she remarked.
She continued that it is a "very fluid situation on the ground," in Iraq, voicing deep concern over the "deteriorating security situation. I don't have any confirmation of those reports." "The situation is certainly very grave on the ground. We are working with Iraqi leaders from across the country to support a coordinated response. You can expect that we will provide additional assistance to the Iraqi government to combat threat from ISIL," she affirmed.
"We are encouraged to see the calls for national unity from Iraqi leaders from across the political spectrum. We think that presents a strong unified front," Psaki noted. "We also support the steps taken between the federal government and the KRG to cooperate on a security plan that will enhance the Iraqi Army's ability to hold positions and confront this ISIL aggression," she went on.
Meanwhile, nominee to be US Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that the Iraqi government "continues to face a severe threat from ISIL, which has now penetrated Iraq through the influx of foreign fighters across the Syrian border." He affirmed that the ISIL "poses significant threat not only to Iraq, but Iraq's neighbors," saying that the US "has a commitment to support Iraq and its security."