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Secretary General: NATO completely excludes military operations in Syria

18 May 2017 [18:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Kamila Aliyeva

The North Atlantic alliance excludes the possibility of direct military operations in Syria, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said upon arrival at the EU Council on Defense in Brussels.

"It is very important to understand that NATO does not take part in any military operations, and there were no inquiries about it," he said, answering journalists' questions, TASS reported.

At the same time, he stressed that NATO will continue to support the coalition against the terrorist group ‘Islamic State’ (IS) in Syria and Iraq.

"NATO must continue to support the coalition, regardless of whether we formally join the coalition," Stoltenberg said.

All members of the 28-alliance are already members of the anti-IS coalition, though NATO itself formally isn't.

The decision on the issue of whether NATO will become a part of coalition is expected to be taken at the summit of the alliance scheduled for May 25 in Brussels.

NATO currently provides support with AWACS surveillance planes and with training in Iraq, in addition to what its member nations provide individually.

The U.S. under President Donald Trump is keen for a greater emphasis on NATO fighting terrorism. 

The Government of Germany has so far been categorically against NATO joining coalition in fight against ISIS. As a justification for its position, it stated that NATO's participation would intensify conflicts in the region or, at the very least, will complicate the search for a peaceful settlement.


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