NATO voices solidarity with Turkey, announces no concrete support

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called for de-escalation in view of the conflict between Turkey and Syria. However, the alliance did not announce support, as demanded by Ankara.

The North Atlantic Council has met on Friday following a request by Turkey to hold consultations under Article 4 of NATO’s founding Washington Treaty on the situation in Syria. Under Article 4 of the Treaty, any Ally can request consultations whenever, in the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened.

NATO is backing Turkey and has reaffirmed its solidarity with Ankara in view of the escalation in Syria after dozens of Turkish soldiers were killed in Idlib last night.

“Allies offer their deepest condolences for the death of Turkish soldiers in last night’s bombing near Idlib. Allies condemn the continued indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and its backer Russia in Idlib province,” said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after Friday’s emergency meeting in Brussels.

Stoltenberg called on Syria and Russia to “stop their offensive, respect international law and back UN efforts for a peaceful solution”.

The Secretary General said; “This dangerous situation must be deescalated to avoid further worsening of the horrendous humanitarian situation in the region, and to allow urgent humanitarian access for those trapped in Idlib. We urge an immediate return to the 2018 ceasefire.”

In the night from Thursday to Friday, an air raid on Turkish positions in the north-western Syrian province of Idlib killed 33 soldiers and seriously injured at least 40 others, according to official sources. ANF sources from the Turkish border province of Hatay reported at least 113 soldiers killed. Dozens of seriously injured soldiers were also admitted to various hospitals in the region.