NATO ready to defend Turkey, send troops if needed: Stoltenberg

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 08, 2015 2:16 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO is ready to send troops to Turkey to defend its ally against threats on its southern flank, the head of the U.S.-led alliance said on Thursday after violations of Turkish airspace by Russia jets conducting air strikes in Syria.

"NATO is ready and able to defend all allies, including Turkey against any threats," Jens Stoltenberg told reporters before a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels that will be dominated by the Syria crisis.

"NATO has already responded by increasing our capacity, our ability, our preparedness to deploy forces including to the south, including in Turkey," he said, noting that Russia's air and cruise missile strikes were "reasons for concern".

He also said no decision had been taken on NATO troop levels in Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Louise Ireland)