Ambassadors of all 29 NATO Allies met in the North Atlantic Council on Friday, following a request by Turkey to hold consultations under Article 4 of the 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. Allies offered their deepest condolences for the death of Turkish soldiers near Idlib.

They also condemned the indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and its backer Russia in Idlib province, and called on them to stop their offensive, to respect international law and to back UN efforts for a peaceful solution.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that NATO stands in strong solidarity with Turkey and will continue to support Turkey with a range of measures, including augmenting its air defences.

“The North Atlantic Council has just met, 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. I spoke to the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last night about the situation in Syria. And he requested these consultations. Today Turkey briefed on the serious security situation in Syria.

Allies offer their deepest condolences for the death of Turkish soldiers in last night’s bombing in Idlib. And expressed their full solidarity with Turkey. Allies condemn the continued indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and Russia in Idlib province.

I call on them to stop their offensive. To respect international law. And to back UN efforts for a peaceful solution. This dangerous situation must be deescalated and we urge an immediate return to the 2018 ceasefire. To avoid further worsening of the horrendous humanitarian situation in the region. And to allow urgent humanitarian access for those trapped in Idlib.

Today’s meeting is a clear sign of solidarity with Turkey. Turkey is a valued NATO Ally and Turkey is the NATO Ally most affected by the terrible conflict in Syria, which has suffered the most terrorist attacks, and which hosts millions of refugees. NATO continues to support Turkey with a range of measures. Including by augmenting its air defences. This helps Turkey against the threat of missile attacks from Syria. I thank Turkey for briefing Allies regularly on the situation in Syria. Allies will continue to follow developments on the South-eastern border of NATO and to consult very closely.”

Read the Secretary General’s press interview here.

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Paul T
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Paul T

Ive been reading a lot about this unfolding situation – without going into the Political side of things there are a few interesting points (1) Airpower is still king,lots of footage of Airstrikes from both sides (2) Extensive use of UAV’s and Drones again from both sides (3) Artillery is essential and still very destructive,confirming what is already known from the Ukraine Conflict (4) The F16/AMRAAM combination remains a Potent force.On a Human level this has catastrophe written all over it – another mass migration of people through Europe at the same time as the Coronavirus outbreak where the movement… Read more »

Ryan Connelly
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Ryan Connelly

Yeah part of me has to wonder if Putin isn’t quite happy about the timing of the coronavirus (not conspiracy theory wise) and this new refugee migration from Syria, gonna be fascinating to see the political reaction from some of the nearby states (greece is taking what seems to be a really aggressive stance)

Gareth
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Gareth

It’s hard to justify supporting Turkey other than simply because of it’s geo-strategic location. They’ve invaded another country and if Russia attacks them as part of it’s alliance to the Assad regime then Turkey could trigger article 5 of the NATO agreement, for a war they started! They’ve called it 3 times in the past so hardly unprecedented for them to do so. Erdogan is a reckless nutter quite frankly.

Frank62
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Frank62

I’m still reeling from the way we deserted our loyal Kurdish allies so Turkey could kick them out of their territories along the Turkish border. But it’s ironic that the first NATO country to stand up to Assad & Russia is Turkey. Pity we didn’t back the Syrian rebels from the start. It may have been costly but it’d probably have stopped ISIS coming about & the wholesale slaughter & refugee crisis that’s ensued. Also Iranian influence may have been checked.
I wonder how many crisis in the world will be missed while we’re all preoccupied with the Covid19 outbreak.

Paul T
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Paul T

I can see that Turkey wanted a Buffer Zone on its border with Syria,just not one Governed by the Kurds,who id agree should have had more support.There are so many conflicting interests there its hard for me to make any judgement to be honest.I would give Turkey the benefit of the doubt in some regards but they are also getting more involved in the mess that is Libya.Whatever Mr Erdogan’s grand plan is he’s taking a massive risk in my opinion.