NATO says monitoring tension in Turkey-Syria border

Today’s Zaman reports: NATO said on Thursday that it was concerned about an incident on the Turkish-Syrian border this week that caused casualties on the Turkish side of the frontier, after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey could seek NATO’s help if similar incidents occur.

Two Turkish nationals and two Syrians were injured in a refugee camp in Kilis province when Syrian forces fired across the border during clashes with opposition fighters that reportedly had attempted to seize control of the border gate and then fled to Turkey. Erdoğan called the incident a border violation and said Turkey would pursue measures under international law in response, raising prospects of military retaliation.

On Wednesday, he further said that “NATO has responsibilities to protect the Turkish border according to Article 5.” The premier was referring to the fifth article of the alliance’s treaty stating that an attack against one NATO member shall be considered an attack against all members.

Carmen Romero, a NATO spokeswoman, expressed concern over the incident and said Thursday that the military alliance is “monitoring the situation very closely and will continue to do so.”

The NATO spokeswoman, however, said Turkey did not ask the Alliance for help in dealing with Syria’s cross-border attacks.

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