PETALING JAYA: The Foreign Ministry has advised all Malaysians in war-torn Iraq to immediately return home for their safety.
The Foreign Ministry in a statement on Sunday advised Malaysians to temporarily postpone or not to undertake any visit to Iraq until the situation normalises.
It also through the Embassy of Malaysia in Amman, Jordan confirmed that all 186 Malaysians in Iraq are safe.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Malaysia is gravely concerned with the recent fighting and violence in Mosul, where militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured the city.
Malaysia hopes that peace and stability will be restored swiftly in Mosul, the country's second-largest city, and other parts of northern Iraq affected by the violence, it said.
“Malaysia expresses its solidarity with the Government and people of Turkey as well as Iraq, and joins in prayers for the safety of all those affected by the violence,” according to the statement.
A major militant offensive launched last Monday, spearheaded by the ISIL but also involving supporters of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, has overrun a large chunk of northern and north-central Iraq.
On June 11, militants seized the building housing the Turkish consulate and took 49 of its personnel and family members as hostages. Malaysia has called for their immediate and safe release.