BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest from NATO meeting on Islamic State group and related developments (all times local):
Turkey’s NATO partners say they stand “in strong solidarity” with the nation, and that the security of the U.S.-led alliance is “indivisible.”
Ambassadors from NATO’s 28 member states issued a joint statement following a rare emergency meeting at NATO headquarters held to hear Turkey describe the threat it faces from the Islamic State extremist group and the actions it’s taking in response.
The NATO ambassadors say they “strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Turkey, and express our condolences to the Turkish government and the families” of victims killed in recent terrorist actions.
The NATO statement added: “Terrorism poses a direct threat to the security of NATO countries and to international stability and prosperity,” ”It is a global threat that knows no border, nationality or religion_a challenge that the international community must fight and tackle together.”
“NATO’s 28 member states issued a joint statement following a rare emergency meeting at NATO headquarters”
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg is scheduled to speak to the media soon about the meeting’s conclusions.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency says a soldier has been seriously wounded in an armed attack near Turkey’s border with Iraq.
The agency says the soldier was fired on by a man wearing a mask on Tuesday in the mainly-Kurdish town of Semdinli.
The attack comes amid increased violence between Turkey and Kurdish rebels and Turkish airstrikes against the militants’ bases in neighboring Iraq.
A day earlier, a military police major was killed in an ambush of his car in the southeastern province of Mus. Ten people were detained for questioning.
Earlier, an explosion at a natural gas pipeline between Iran and Turkey — blamed on Kurdish rebels — caused a large fire and shut down the flow of gas.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey is asking NATO to be prepared to help his country as it battles Islamic State militants in Syria and Kurdish rebels in Iraq.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday before leaving for China, Erdogan also said it was impossible to advance a peace process with the Kurds as attacks on Turkey continue.
“NATO ambassadors say they “strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Turkey”
Erdogan spoke as NATO convened for a special meeting to discuss threats to Turkey.
Erdogan said Turkish and U.S. officials were discussing the creation of a safe zone near Turkey’s border with Syria, which would be cleared of IS group presence and turned into a secure area for Syrian refugees to return.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has opened a rare emergency meeting at NATO headquarters, requested by Turkey, by expressing condolences to the Turkish people and government for recent deadly attacks there. He said that “terrorism in all its forms” can never be justified.
Tuesday’s meeting is only the fifth of its kind since the U.S.-led political and military alliance was founded 66 years ago. The NATO treaty empowers member states to seek emergency consultations if they deem their territorial integrity, political independence or security to be under threat.