NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, at a press conference in Italy this week, spoke about Turkey’s ongoing military operations in northern Syria, affirming that Turkey is an “ally” that faces “legitimate security concerns” having “suffered horrendous terrorist attacks.”
Stoltenberg claimed that NATO has been informed by Turkey about the operations, and offered: “It’s important to avoid actions that may further destabilize the region, escalate tensions, and cause more human suffering.”
He admonished Turkey to act with restraint, and called for actions in northern Syria to be proportionate and measured.
“We must not jeopardize the gains we have made together against our common enemy, ISIS. Because ISIS continues to pose a grave threat to the Middle East and North Africa, and to all our nations,” Stoltenberg stated.
Stoltenberg gave these remarks in the midst of a trip to Italy, Greece and Turkey, and he stated that he will discuss the ongoing situation with Turkey’s President Erdogan.
Earlier in the press conference NATO’s chief recognized Italy for being a “top force-contributing” nation in Afghanistan, and articulated NATO’s broader role in the country: “Our mission trains Afghan forces, so they can fight international terrorism and create the conditions for peace.”