NATO on Tuesday gave its strong backing to Turkey’s fight against ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters at an emergency meeting called to discuss Ankara’s strikes against them.
The talks in Brussels came as President Tayyip Erdogan insisted that Turkey would press on with the dual offensive against two mutually hostile groups despite questions about his country’s motives.
Opening the meeting of ambassadors from all 28 NATO states, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the US-led military alliance was “following developments very closely and we stand in strong solidarity with our ally Turkey”.
“Terrorism in all its forms can never be tolerated or justified. It is right and timely that we hold this meeting today to address the instability on Turkey’s doorstep and on NATO’s border,” he said.
Turkey requested the meeting after a bloody suicide bombing it blamed on ISIL in the southeastern town of Suruc last week.
The attack, which killed 32 people, saw Turkey combine campaigns against Kurdish fighters and ISIL into a broad “war on terror” even though the two groups are themselves bitterly opposed.
The United States and Turkey said Monday they had agreed to work together to create an ISIL-free zone northern Syria in a potentially game-changing accord.