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NATO Says It Stands With Turkey In Fight Against ISIS

NATO country flags wave outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday. For just the fifth time in its 66-year history, NATO ambassadors met in emergency session to gauge the threat the Islamic State extremist group poses to Turkey.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP
NATO country flags wave outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday. For just the fifth time in its 66-year history, NATO ambassadors met in emergency session to gauge the threat the Islamic State extremist group poses to Turkey.

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 so-called Islamic State.

Turkey called a rare Article 4 meeting of the allies after it began an air campaign against ISIS targets in Syria.

As the AP 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 air strikes from a base in the country and it 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 theattacks 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."

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