NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg briefed the media after an emergency meeting requested by Turkey, due to the escalating situation in Syria’s Idlib, in Brussels on Friday.
Stoltenberg began his address by expressing his condolences after the deaths of 33 Turkish soldiers in an airstrike in the Syrian province of Idlib on Thursday.
The NATO chief called stated that the “dangerous situation must be de-escalated, and we urge an immediate return to the 2018 ceasefire to avoid further worsening of the horrendous humanitarian situation in the region.”
“Turkey is a valued NATO ally, and Turkey is the NATO ally most affected by the terrible conflict in Syria, which has suffered the most terrorist attacks and which hosts millions of refugees,” he stressed.
Stoltenberg added that “NATO continues to support Turkey with a range of measures including by augmenting its air defences.”
On Thursday Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu requested an emergency meeting as per article four of NATO’s Washington Treaty, which provides for special consultations whenever any ally feels their territorial integrity, political independence or security is under threat.
According to Moscow, the Russian Air Force was not active in the Behun area at the time of the airstrike.