NATO Not Involved in Creating Buffer Zone in Northern Syria
14:04 28.07.2015(updated 15:23 28.07.2015)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the organization does not take part in the creation of a buffer zone in Syria's northern regions.
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – NATO is not participating in the creation of a buffer zone in Syria's northern regions in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday.
Turkey and the United States are said to be working on the creation of a buffer zone for refugees in areas of northern Syria free from ISIL militants. Earlier on Tuesday, NATO member ambassadors convened in Brussels for an extraordinary meeting at Turkey's request regarding its military campaigns against ISIL.
'NATO is not part of these efforts. This is something which is discussed on a bilateral basis between Turkey and the United States,' Stoltenberg told journalists
Also Stoltenberg said that Turkey didn't ask for any additional military NATO presence in Turkey.
He noted that Turkey has a very capable army, which is the second largest within the Alliance.
Earlier in the day, envoys from the 28 members of NATO convened in Brussels for an extraordinary meeting at Turkey's request, as Ankara initiated military campaigns against ISIL and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
On Friday, Turkey launched a campaign against the extremists involving airstrikes using F-16 fighter jets and shelling launched from within the Turkish territory. The campaign comes after a suicide bomber killed 32 people and injured more than 100 in the town of Suruc near the Syrian border. Most of the victims were Kurdish. On Sunday, two police officers were murdered in the southern city of Ceylanpinar.
The Suruc attack was reportedly organized by Islamic State, while the PKK claimed responsibility for the Ceylanpinar killings, saying they were in retaliation for the Suruc attacks.
The PKK, considered a terrorist group in Turkey, was founded in 1978 to support self-determination for Turkish Kurds.
Islamic State is predominantly active in Syria and Iraq, having seized large territories in both countries last year.
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