Turkey pleads for NATO support in Idlib after dozens of its soldier killed on Thursday

ANKARA / WASHINGTON – After an attack that killed dozens of Turkish soldiers in Idlib, Turkey has initiated consultations with its NATO allies and has called on the United States to establish a no-fly-zone.

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres expressed his grave concern about the civilians of Idlib and renewed his call for a cease-fire. Turkish hopes for NATO support for the Turkish army in his war in Idlib, and American calls to establish a no-fly zone in the region.

Ömer Çelik, Turkish Minister of European Union Affairs and former Justice and Development Party spokesperson, stated that his country will begin consultations with NATO regarding the situation in Idlib. In an interview with TTR channel, Çelik stated that the attack on Turkey is an attack on NATO and that the Turkish government expects certain measures will be taken to establish a no-fly zone in Idlib.

U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, told reporters that NATO countries have not discussed the use of Article 5 of the Collective Defense Treaty regarding the situation of Turkey and Syria. Article 5 states that an attack on one Member State or many Member States in Europe or North America, would be considered an attack on all the Member States. However, Article 5 only applies to attacks which occur within a Member States own territory.

Hutchison later added that she was not informed about the latest incident and that she was talking about the situation before, saying, “At the moment, there is no discussion about the implementation of Article 5. This is a difficult situation, and now we are talking about how to help civilians in Idlib. NATO countries will review all the options to respond to the situation.”

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham called for the establishment of a no-fly-zone in Idlib and urged President Donald Trump to help stop the killing of civilians there by the Syrian Arab Army, which is backed by Russia and Iran.

Graham added, “I am sure that if the world, led by the U.S. confronts Iran, Russia and Assad, they will retreat. This paves the way for political negotiations to end this war in Syria.”