Alliance rules out military action in Syria
BRUSSELS – NATO has said it strongly backs alliance-member Turkey following a terrorist attack in Ankara on Wednesday.
There are no plans for military action in Syria, it added.
“NATO stands in strong solidarity with Turkey. We have been augmenting Turkish air defenses for years,” a NATO official told Anadolu Agency by email Thursday.
The official added: “NATO military action in Syria is not on the agenda.”
A terrorist attack — carried out jointly by a Syrian-national YPG member and PKK members based in Turkey — hit military vehicles in central Ankara, killing at least 28 people and wounding 61.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and certain Western European countries want troops deployed on the ground in Syria, as Russian-backed advances have exacerbated tensions on the Turkey-Syria border.
Earlier this month, NATO defense ministers decided to intensify intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance at the Turkish-Syrian border.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg strongly condemned Wednesday’s attack and expressed his condolences to the Turkish people.
“There can be no justification for such horrific acts,” Stoltenberg said in a statement Wednesday. “NATO Allies stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism.”