BREAKING NEWS: Reports of a coup in Turkey caught Washington off guard Friday as a military faction claimed it had taken control of the strategic U.S. ally. Relations between the U.S. and Turkey have been strained in recent months, but stability in the country is vital to American interests in the Middle East.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirm announced that a group within the country’s military had attempted late Friday to overthrow the government. Social media in the country has been largely shut down and television stations showed tanks and jeeps outside Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, site of a recent terrorist attack. A military official read a statement on Turkish television stating that martial law had been imposed. FULL REPORT