NATO meets to discuss Turkey’s military action in Syria

Utenriksdepartementet UD

ALL members of NATO, 28 countries in total, meet in Brussels on Tuesday (July 28) to discuss Turkey’s military action in Syria, where it has bombed Islamic State (IS) targets and also hit Kurdish militants who are fighting IS.
The Turkish government says it does not distinguish between IS and the Kurdish separatist force in Turkey, the PKK, which is closely allied with the Kurdish YPG in Syria. Ankara views both forces as terrorists, and has been engaged in a long war to suppress the PKK in Turkey since 1984.
Inside Turkish borders, authorities have cracked down on suspected PKK members and left-wing groups, as well as people believed to be IS activists, arresting 1,000 people in the last week according to the BBC.
The extraordinary meeting of NATO has been called by Turkey to discuss the threat to its borders. It wants NATO support in establishing a buffer zone along its border with Syria, and in turn NATO has been campaigning for more active Turkish support in the fight against IS for some time.
However, there is much speculation that Turkey’s priority is to target Kurdish rebels, and NATO endorsement and support of that aim could be their price if they are to become fully-fledged military partners in the struggle against IS.

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