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Ceturtdiena 12.12.2019 | Name days: Otīlija, Iveta

Sources: Turkey is slow with support of NATO’s defence plan for Baltics and Poland

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defence, topical, Islamic State, Kurdish militants, NATO, Poland, international relations, Turkey Turkey will refuse to support NATO’s defence plan for Baltic States and Poland if the alliance does not offer Ankara greater support in the fight against Kurdish armed group People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the northern parts of Syria, as confirmed by four high-ranking sources in the alliance.

Ankara has ordered its ambassador to not sign NATO’s plan, as well as maintain a strong position in all meetings and private conversations, demanding the alliance to recognize YPG a terrorist organization, sources say.

Turkey’s delegation to NATO has not commented on this information as of yet. Turkey’s Foreign and Defence Ministry have not responded to requests for comments.

The dispute prior to next week’s NATO summit in London is yet another sign of the fracture in relations between Washington and Ankara in regards to Kurdish militants in Syria, who were allies to USA in the fight against the terrorist organization Islamic State in the Middle East for years. Ankara insists that YPG is a branch of the Turkish Kurds armed separatist group Kurdistan Workers Party.

NATO ambassadors are trying to secure support of all 29 member states for the military plan for the defence of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in the event of Russia’s military aggression.

Without Turkey, it would be harder for NATO to quickly organize enhancement of the defence potential in Poland and Baltic States.

«They [Turks] make Eastern Europeans hostages by blocking this military plan until they have what they want,» Reuters was told by a diplomatic source.

When asked about this topic, NATO press-secretary Oana Lungescu said: «NATO’s plan is intended for the protection of all allies. NATO’s commitment towards the protection of all allies is unbendable.»

Turkey had presented it demands even before its invasion of Syria’s north. The topic became on top again on the eve of the upcoming summit, during which it is planned to approve security documents.

NATO ambassadors nevertheless hope to reach a compromise, because Ankara also wants leaders to approve the updated military plan that outlines details for how NATO will defend Turkey in the event of an attack, said two diplomatic sources.

«Everyone criticizes them [Turks], but if they back away, the price for this will be excluding them from the Syrian strategy,» said one source.

On 9 October Turkey invaded Syria’s north-eastern territories controlled by Kurds. Several hundred people were killed in the invasion and approximately 300 000 were made refugees.

Read also: France criticises American NATO leadership as being «brain dead»

Turkey’s invasion of Syria became possible after US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from the border between Syria and Turkey, which served as guarantee Turkey would not attack Kurds in Syria.

Since 2004 USA and Syria’s Kurds have been allies in the fights against the terrorist organization Islamic State and have worked together to tear down the Jihadist Caliphate. Approximately 10 000 Kurdish militants have died in this war.


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