Brussels (dpa) - Turkey has in the NATO partners for understanding of the controversial military offensive against the Kurdish militia YPG in northern Syria recruited.
In a session of the North Atlantic Council, the country informed on Wednesday about the approach and objectives of the intervention, as confirmed in Alliance circles. Participants included NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and ambassadors from the other 28 Allies.
For details of the approximately three-hour meeting, there was no official information for confidentiality reasons. According to information from the German Press Agency, however, Turkey had to accept further questions and criticism following the briefing. Above all, NATO partners, who are also members of the EU, said they were based on an EU declaration condemning military intervention.
In addition, the concern was again expressed that could be released by the Turkish action in northern Syria imprisoned members of the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS). There were also calls for an investigation into allegations of possible human rights violations.
Turkey asserted that it intends to prevent the escape of IS terrorists. These would be arrested or eliminated if necessary. In principle, Turkey has argued that their military offensive must at least be tolerated by the NATO partners, if they find no support, it was said. The country considered the Kurdish militia YPG in northern Syria as an offshoot of the banned Kurdish workers' party PKK and thus as a terrorist organization.
The fact that NATO condemns the Turkish offensive as the EU is excluded despite the criticism of many Allies. This is because decisions in the Alliance are taken solely on the basis of the principle of consensus and Turkey thus has a veto right in all decisions.
In addition, many member states in NATO are afraid of a new major refugee crisis. Specifically, it concerns the concern that the government in Ankara refugees from Syria could uncontrollably move towards Western Europe. Among others, Greece, Hungary and Germany see this as a risk.
A continuation of discussions on the situation in northern Syria, according to a NATO spokesman at the end of next week at a meeting of defense ministers of the Allies. Afterwards, a special meeting of the anti-IS coalition called for by the EU could be organized. These include, among others, Arab and African countries.
Recent statements by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on North Syria