Brussels - NATO is ready to defend Turkey, the Alliance's top official said Tuesday, in a direct warning to Syria after a week of artillery and mortar transboundary dramatically escalated tensions between the two countries.
The group Tyler reported, Ankara has sent extra jets to strengthen an airbase near the Syrian border where shells last week, five Turkish citizens slain sparking fears of a wider regional crisis. Syria has defended its shelling of neighboring Turkey as accidental result of his 18-month-old civil war.
The comments of the Secretary-General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the strongest show of support to Turkey since the firing Wednesday but solidarity is largely symbolic. Moreover, NATO member Turkey has sought support in case it is attacked, but despite publicly supporting Syria rebels Ankara is seeking immediate intervention. And the Alliance is thought to be reluctant to get involved militarily in a time when the main priority of the war in Afghanistan. "Of course Turkey can count on the solidarity of NATO," Fogh Rasmussen said before a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels. "We have all the necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey, if necessary."