Ankara has asked NATO for additional assistance to help shore up the border with Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced.
“[We’ve asked for] additional NATO assistance on Syria – for the defence of the border with Syria, and in connection with the migration challenge,” Erdogan said, speaking to reporters on Monday alongside NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.
Stressing that Turkey was looking for “concrete support from all our allies to this struggle,” Erdogan suggested that Turkey had been the only NATO power to fight Syria-based ‘threats’, including Daesh (ISIS)*, for over nine years and to have suffered troops killed.
“The situation in Syria threatens Europe. No country in Europe has the right to look with indifference at the humanitarian drama in Syria,” Erdogan said.
For his part, Stoltenberg pointed to the “common challenge” of migration and refugee flows along the Greek-Turkish border, and said this problem required “common solutions.”
“So I welcome the dialogue between Turkey and the European Union, and I trust that the way forward can be found. NATO will continue to play its part. We are currently deployed in the GNC to help tackle the refugee and migrant crisis. Allies are also prepared to continue to support Turkey, and we are exploring what more we may be able to do,” Stoltenberg said.