NATO has contingency plans for Turkey, defense minister says
ISIL militants (rear) stand next to an ISIL flag atop a hill in the Syrian town of Kobane, as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border, with Turkish troops in foreground, in the southeastern town of Suruç, on Oct. 6. AFP Photo / Aris MessinisAnkara asked NATO to develop contingency plans for Turkey when the unrest in Syria first started and the alliance made plans taking many possibilities into account, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz has said.
NATO will fulfill Article 5 of the Washington Treaty in the event of any threat from Syria to Turkey, Yılmaz said late on Oct. 6.
“If there is an attack, NATO’s joint defense mechanisms will be activated,” he told reporters.
Asked about the ongoing clashes in the Kurdish-populated Syrian town of Kobane, Yılmaz said Turkey aims to act with the international community “with minimum damage.”
His remarks came after NATO’s new chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would step in to defend Turkey in the face of any attack from the jihadist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Speaking during a news conference in Poland on Oct. 6, Stoltenberg against stressed NATO’s commitment to protecting Turkey. “The main responsibility for NATO is to protect all allied countries.
Turkey is a NATO ally and our main responsibility is to protect the integrity, the borders of Turkey, and that’s the reason why we have deployed Patriot missiles in Turkey to enhance, to strengthen their air defense of Turkey. 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,” he said.