NATO will stand by member state Turkey if it comes under attack as a result of the fighting just across the border in Syria, alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday. ISIS militants on Monday raised their flag on the eastern outskirts of the Syrian town of Kobani, six miles from Turkish territory. Stray fire from fighting around the town has hit Turkish land.
"The main responsibility for NATO is to protect all allied countries. Turkey is a NATO ally and our main responsibility is to protect the integrity, the borders of Turkey and that is the reason why we have deployed Patriot missiles in Turkey to enhance, to strengthen the airfence of Turkey," Stoltenberg told a news conference during a visit to Poland.
A senior NATO official told NBC News: "Turkey, as a Member of NATO, is under the protection of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty so of course NATO would be prepared to assist if Turkey asked NATO to invoke Article 5."
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- Ben Plesser
Reuters contributed to this report.