Ambassadors from 29 NATO allies are meeting today at the request of Turkey to talk about the situation in Syria, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg said. The ambassadors are from the North Atlantic Council, the political governing body of the treaty organization.
NATO allies meet under Article 4, which allows a Member State to convene other allies if the security of the country is at stake. Turkey raises the alarm after 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in the Syrian province of Idlib yesterday. It should be mentioned that Turkey incursion into Syria is not supported by NATO as a whole.
A senior Turkish official told Reuters news agency yesterday that Turkey will no longer stop Syrian refugees who want to go to Europe. According to him, the borders with Greece and Bulgaria remain open for 72 hours.
The Turkish state news agency today shows drone images of several hundred people being let through. From Istanbul people would be taken by bus to the border with Greece.
The admission of refugees has not yet been confirmed by official Turkish sources. President Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said on Twitter that Turkey has already taken in 4 million Syrian refugees and cannot accommodate another million.
Turkey has further called on world powers to set up a no-fly zone in Syria to protect the hundreds of thousands of displaced persons in the country.
In the meantime, Russia is sending two warships to the Syrian coast. Ankara said that air strikes by the Syrian government caused the deaths on the Turkish side, but according to Russia, Turkey itself is guilty.
Russian Defense Minister Shoigu states that Turkish troops have been hit by Syrian artillery fire intended for rebels in the area. According to him, Ankara did not inform Moscow of their presence there.