Syria: NATO re­news pledge over Rus­sia

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

The North At­lantic Treaty Or­gan­i­sa­tion (NATO) has re­newed as­sur­ances to de­fend al­lies in view of the “es­ca­la­tion of Rus­sian mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties” in Syria, the al­liance’s sec­re­tary-gen­eral says.

Jens Stoltenberg said de­fence min­is­ters had de­cided to boost re­sponse forces to be able to de­ploy troops speed­ily.

Nato mem­ber Tur­key has com­plained that Rus­sian jets have vi­o­lated its airspace re­cently.

Rus­sia has used cruise mis­siles as well as air strikes in Syria. The Nato chief said Moscow’s po­si­tion was “un­help­ful”.

An­nounc­ing the dou­bling of the size of the Nato Re­sponse Force to 40,000, Mr Stoltenberg said: “All of this sends a clear mes­sage to all Nato cit­i­zens. Nato will de­fend you, Nato is on the ground, Nato is ready.”

He also urged Moscow to stop back­ing Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad.

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