During a meeting with all 27 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Tuesday, Turkey said it wanted to give the members a heads up that at some point it may need their help fighting against the self-declared Islamic State.
Turkey called a rare Article 4 meeting of the NATO allies after it began an air campaign against ISIS targets in Syria.
As The Associated Press reports, Turkey has been reluctant to join the U.S.-led war against ISIS, but recently an ISIS suicide bombing near the Turkish border with Syria left 32 people dead. Last week, Turkey decided to let the U.S. launch airstrikes from a base in the country and also began launching its own strikes.
“If a NATO member country comes under attack, NATO would support it in every way,” Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdogan, said, according to Reuters. “At the moment,Turkey has come under attack and is exercising its right to defend itself and will exercise this right until the end … but what we’re saying is that there could be a duty for NATO, and we ask NATO to be prepared for this.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that during and following the meeting, NATO offered political support to Turkey:
“Following the meeting, NATO issued a statement condemning the attacks against Turkey, adding that terrorism is ‘a challenge that the international community must fight and tackle together.’
“Both before and after the meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg repeatedly mentioned that the alliance stood with Turkey, brushing off questions about divisions within the allies over Ankara’s approach.
” ‘All allies stand in solidarity with Turkey, we strongly condemn the terrorist attacks,’ Mr. Stoltenberg said.”