Military role discussed in coalition, not in NATO: Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (L) of Norway meets with U.S. soldiers during his visit to view the U.S. Patriot missile system at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, October 10, 2014. REUTERS PhotoNATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that the international coalition against jihadists in Syria are discussing issues, such as a buffer zone and a no-fly-zone, but none of these options are on the table of the alliance itself.
“There has been no request for a NATO military role inside Syria,” Stoltenberg said to CNN Türk while visiting NATO’s Patriot batteries in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on Oct. 10.
Stoltenberg stressed that Turkey raised its suggestions for a buffer zone and a no-fly-zone on Oct. 9, but the talks were conducted in the scope of the coalition, not in NATO.
Stoltenberg also said that NATO’s Patriot batteries in Turkey were discussed during his talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
After being asked if there are any countries other than Spain to replace the Patriot batteries currently provided by the Netherlands, Stoltenberg did not give much detail. The number of batteries that will be sent to Turkey is an issue “that will be discussed among military commanders,” he said.
It was Stoltenberg’s first visit to Turkey as NATO’s Secretary-General.