NATO Chief Jens Stollenberg today tried to downplay concerns over the new ISIS war spilling over into neighboring Turkey, insisting that as a NATO member the nation was obliged to defend it from any potential spillover.
Stollenberg made much of the deployment of anti-aircraft missiles along the border with Syria, which of course is totally irrelevant to the war with ISIS, since ISIS does not have warplanes, and presumably the Patriot missiles in southern Turkey aren’t there to prevent US warplanes engaged in airstrikes against ISIS from straying across the border.
Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz insisted that NATO has already drawn up a defensive plan at his government’s request, and that he is confident that the plan will prevent any attacks by ISIS.
It seems unlikely ISIS will actually attack Turkey at this point, however, with the country still a primary avenue for fighters and weapons smuggled into Syria. This could change if Turkey, as threatened, does launch a ground offensive against ISIS, but at that point it’s hard to imagine NATO on the hook for “defensive” aid to Turkey, if they indeed start the war.
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