Secretary-General: Staying Out of Syria Not an Option
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu today, and issued a statement “welcoming” Turkey’s recent invasion of Syria, saying that Turkey is a “strong and highly valued” member of NATO and it was important that they are increasing anti-ISIS efforts.
Stoltenberg conceded that Syria was “a very complex and very difficult situation,” but insisted that the alliance did not have the option of remaining out of the Syrian Civil War, saying that the alliance must fight against ISIS inside Syria.
Turkey’s invasion has seen them fight ISIS, at least some of the time, but the invasion has also set its sights on the US-backed Kurdish YPG. Several NATO nations, particularly France have previously expressed disquiet about Turkey’s invasion, despite Stoltenberg’s apparently unreserved endorsement.
The US, for its part, has sought to try to prevent fighting between the Turkish forces and the YPG from breaking out, and so far there have only been limited exchanges, though Turkish officials have accused the US of lying about the YPG withdrawing from Manbij, and continue to move further into Syria