NATO says will protect Turkey against ISIL militants
KONFRONTASI - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has expressed its readiness to defend Turkey as a member state in the face of attacks from the ISIL Takfiri militants.
Speaking at a news conference in Poland’s capital city of Warsaw on Monday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg held the Western military alliance responsible for protecting Turkey’s “integrity” and its borders.
"Turkey should know that NATO will be there if there is any spillover, any attacks on Turkey as a consequence of the violence we see in Syria," Stoltenberg said.
He further stressed that the military alliance had the option of moving ground troops into the Turkish territory if it proved necessary.
Stoltenberg made his first trip aboard as the new NATO chief by visiting Poland and is also expected to pay a visit to Turkey.
Stoltenberg’s remarks come after the Turkish parliament approved a government proposal for military intervention against ISIL Takfiris in Syria and Iraq. The newly-passed law also allows the use of Turkish soil by foreign forces for operations against ISIL militants.
The ISIL Takfiri militants are reportedly closing in on the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobani by the Kurds, located close to the Turkish border.
The nearly three-week intense battle for the strategic town has forced about 200,000 people to take refuge in Turkey.
The ISIL terrorist group controls large areas of Syria’s east and north. The group sent its militants into Iraq in June, seizing large parts of land straddling the border between Syria and Iraq.
The US-led coalition has carried out airstrikes against the ISIL positions near Kobani. Local commanders, however, say the attacks have so far failed to stop the terrorist group’s advance.[presstv]