Ankara: Turkey has called for an extraordinary meeting of NATO to discuss the escalating violence caused by the crisis in Syria. The meeting, which will be held in Brussels on Tuesday, was invoked under Article 4 of the NATO treaty.
This allows any of the organisation’s 28 members to request assistance when they consider “their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened”. A statement from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Turkey requested the meeting in view of the seriousness of the situation after the heinous terrorist attacks in recent days, and also to inform Allies of the measures it is taking.”NATO Allies follow developments very closely and stand in solidarity with Turkey.”
The move comes as Turkey continued its airstrikes against Islamic State extremists in Syria and widened its anti-terror campaign to hit Kurdish militant targets inside Iraq. The escalation in military activity by Turkey comes after a suspected IS suicide bomber killed 32 people, some of them Kurds, in the border town of Suruc.
This triggered violence in the mainly Kurdish southeast, with the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK killing two police officers, claiming it was retaliation for the suicide attack.