Tags: AFGHAN | AGRKEY | ALLTOP | ALLWWCUR | AME | ASIA | ASIAX

NATO Stands By Turkey as Tension With Russia Builds Over Assad

Thursday, 08 Oct 2015 10:24 AM

NATO is ready to increase support for Turkey, the alliance’s second-largest military, and warned Russia against escalating its campaign in neighboring Syria as tension between the governments in Moscow and Ankara increased.

Violations of Turkish airspace are not acceptable and Russia’s actions carry the “risk of miscalculations,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday as the group’s defense ministers gathered in Brussels. “We are in constant dialog and assessing the situation with Turkey, but the main thing is we have a duty to reinforce,” he said.

The main targets of Russia’s air and cruise-missile strikes are not the Islamic State terrorist group, but members of more moderate forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Stoltenberg said. He called on the Kremlin to fight Islamic State militants and stop shoring up Assad, who is also backed by Shiite-dominated Iran in the fight against predominantly Sunni groups.

Russia is flexing its muscles in its first military campaign outside the former Soviet Union in three decades. Turkey has been seeking Assad’s ouster for years, and Russia’s military intervention on behalf of the Syrian leader has badly strained ties with the government in Ankara, its second-biggest trading partner and largest source of imports. 

Angry Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Russia that trade ties could suffer over its violation of Turkey’s airspace and military buildup in the region centered in Latakia, a stronghold of Assad and his Alawite leadership on the Mediterranean.

Intervention could cost Russia billions of dollars in contracts, Erdogan warned. The country could find itself frozen out of continued involvement in the construction of the $20 billion Mersin Akkuhu nuclear plant on the Mediterranean coast and lose its No. 1 natural gas consumer, he said.

“We can’t accept the existing situation,” Erdogan said. “If necessary, Turkey can obtain gas from very different places. Russia should think well.”

Cruise Missiles

Erdogan’s comments to journalists on an overnight flight from Brussels to Tokyo were reported a day after Russia added a new dimension to its military campaign by firing 26 cruise missiles at rebel targets in Syria.

A video released by the Defense Ministry in Moscow showed what it said was a Russian naval strike group launching missiles from the Caspian that streaked across the night sky, then traced a route across Iran and Iraq, hugging terrain from as low as 50 meters, before hitting targets in Syria within a range of accuracy of as little as three meters.

The airstrikes were coupled with a ground offensive by Syrian government forces and allied gunmen against Islamist and opposition groups in several areas in the northern outskirts of Hama, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Syrian armed forces chief General Ali Abdullah Ayoub said Thursday that Russian airstrikes have weakened the fighting abilities of Islamic State and other “terrorist” groups. In remarks broadcast by Syrian state-run TV, he said Syrian forces have started a massive offensive to wipe out militants and retake unspecified areas under their control.

More Dangerous

Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged the U.S. and countries in the region to form a coalition against Islamic State and other militant groups. Defense ministers attending the meeting in Brussels criticized Russia’s actions as undermining that fight and fueling a four-year civil war that has already killed more than 250,000 people.

U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said “Russia is making a very serious situation in Syria much more dangerous.” He said NATO will call on Russia to take steps to avoid accidental conflicts in Syria and stop using unguided missiles in areas not controlled by Islamic State.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said: “When Russia attacks those who are fighting the Islamic State, that strengthens the Islamic State.”

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Headline
NATO is ready to increase support for Turkey, the alliance's second-largest military, and warned Russia against escalating its campaign in neighboring Syria as tension between the governments in Moscow and Ankara increased.
AFGHAN, AGRKEY, ALLTOP, ALLWWCUR, AME, ASIA, ASIAX, ATTACHMENT, BB, BBCHTO, BBEXCLUDE, BGOVBILLGO, BGOVCODES, BIZNEWS, BNALL, BNANKARA, BNCOPY, BNCOPY2, BNJERUSAL, BNSTAFF, BNTEAMS, BONDWIRES, BRIC, BRST, BUSINESS, CALVPOSS, CASIA, CASPIAN, CIS, CMD, CMDGLOMAC, CMDKEY, COS, CREDITKEY, CST, DC, DEBTKEY, DUPLICATE, DUX, E-EEU, EDTEUTEAM, EEU, EGOVERN, EM, EQUITYKEY, ESGCOUNT, ESGCOUNTRY, ESGRES, ESGWEAPON, ESX, EUBNX, EUHEADERS, EURCURZ7, EUROPE, EUROPEME, EUROSTORY, EURTOP, EURTOPZ7, EXE, EXTRTOP, EXUSSR, FEAS, FRONTIER, FXKEY, G10MEMB, G7MEMB, GEDEF, GEGOV, GEN, GENCURZ1, GENCURZ2, GENCURZ3, GENEVENT, GENTOP, GENTOPZ1, GENTOPZ2, GENTOPZ3, GLOBALMACR, GOV, GOVCUR, GOVCURZ1, GOVME, GOVMISC, GOVTOP, GOVTOPZ1, GOWEB, GRNEWS, GULF, GULFCURZ2, GULFCURZ3, GULFCURZ4, GULFCURZ5, GULFCURZ6, GULFTOP, GULFTOPZ2, GULFTOPZ3, GULFTOPZ4, GULFTOPZ5, GULFTOPZ6, HEAVYCON, HLDUPLICAT, HLNOVEL, HLNOVELTY0, HLNOVELTY9, INDUSTRIAL, INDUSTRIES, IRAN, IRAQ, JPMFRONT, LST, MAJOR, MARKETS, MDEASTGOV, MEAHEADERS, MENA, METALKEY, MIDEAST, MINT, MISC, MOSTREAD, MRX, MSCIEMEUR, MSCINAMER, MSCIWORLD, MSX, NATO, NORTHAM, NOVEL, NOVELTY0, NOVELTY9, NRG, NRGKEY, NUK, OILKEY, ONWEB, ORIGINAL, PHOTO, POLIRISK, POLNEWS, RATESKEY, READ, READ100, READ1000, READ150, READ1500, READ25, READ250, READ50, READ500, READ700, REGIONFILT, RUFOR, RUGOV, RUNEWS, RUPRES, RUSPDTEAM, RUSSIA, RUSTOP, SEASIA, SENT, SPREGIONS, SRCRANK1, STFILT241, STFILT689, SYRIA, TERROR, TIMECO, TIMENI, TOP, TRCURZ2, TRD, TRTOP, TRTOPZ2, TURKEY, UNSANCTION, UPDATE, US, USGOV, WAR, WASHNEWS, WHOCURZ1, WHOTOP, WHOTOPZ1, WNEWS, WORLD, WWCUR, WWCURZ5, WWCURZ6, WWTOP, WWTOPZ5, WWTOPZ6
619
2015-24-08
Thursday, 08 Oct 2015 10:24 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved