Turkey: Stoltenberg expresses NATO’s solidarity for Turkey in Idlib

Turkey: Stoltenberg expresses NATO’s solidarity for Turkey in Idlib

NATO convened an extraordinary meeting Friday at Turkey’s request, following a late-night attack on Idlib, Syria, where 33 Turkish soldiers were killed and dozens were injured.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the North Atlantic Council was convened at Turkey’s request to hold consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Constitutional Treaty on the situation in Syria. Pursuant to Article 4 of the Treaty, any Ally may request consultations when, in the opinion of either of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security are threatened.

“I spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last night about the situation in Syria and he called for these consultations”, the NATO Secretary General continued.

“Their allies express their deepest condolences for the deaths of Turkish soldiers during a bomb attack last night near Idlib”.

The allies condemn the continuing indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and Russia’s support in Idlib province”, Stoltenberg said.

“We call on them to stop their attack, respect international law and support the UN’s efforts for a peaceful solution”, he continued.

“This dangerous situation must be dismantled to prevent further deterioration in the terrifying humanitarian situation in the region and to allow emergency humanitarian access for those trapped in Idlib. We urge for an immediate return to the truce in 2018”, Jens Stoltenberg stressed.

As for today’s meeting, it is a sign of solidarity with Turkey, the NATO Secretary-General said. Turkey, Stoltenberg continued, is the NATO ally most affected by the horrific conflict in Syria, which has suffered the most terrorist attacks and is home to millions of refugees.

“NATO continues to support Turkey with a number of measures, including strengthening its air defence, which is helping Turkey against the threat of Syrian missile attacks”.

Concluding, Jens Stoltenberg thanked Turkey for regularly briefing the Allies on the situation in Syria. The allies will continue to monitor developments at NATO’s southeastern border very closely”./ibna