NATO supports Turkish fight against terrorismComments
Initially reluctant to join the international coalition against Islamic State militants, on Friday (July 24) Turkey launched its first bombing raids on IS positions in Syria.
Terrorism poses a direct threat to the security of NATO countries and to international stability and prosperity.
The strikes came after a suicide bomber killed 32 young Kurdish Turks in the border town of Suruc.
On Tuesday (July 28) NATO held an emergency session to discuss the growing threat IS poses to Turkey.
“All allies stand in solidarity with Turkey,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after the meeting in Brussels.
“Terrorism poses a direct threat to the security of NATO countries and to international stability and prosperity. NATO is playing its part in addressing these challenges. All allies are part and contribute to the global coalition against ISIL.”
NATO stopped short of joining a Turkey-US initiative to clear IS militants out of Northern Syria and create a security zone along the Turkish border.
As well as the threat from IS, Turkey is also facing renewed hostilities with Kurdish PKK guerrillas.
Relations broke down after the Suruc attack, which Kurds blame on the Turkish government.
Since the bombing, the PKK has targeted security forces and the Turkish air force launched a series of strikes on a PKK base in Northern Iraq.
World leaders have pleaded with both sides to keep the peace process alive – apparently to no avail.