Why do NATO countries fear that Turkey could undermine NATO security?


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The foreign ministers of NATO member states are increasingly concerned about the Turkish military operation in northern Syria, fearing for the security of the entire coalition; an expert spoke to the agency "Sputnik" about the realism of these concerns.

How it all started

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said on Monday that the Turkish operation in northern Syria after a cooperation agreement between the Kurds and Damascus threatens the security of NATO countries.

"Turkey is a member of NATO, but since this morning there is an alliance of Kurds and the president of Syria," Luxembourg said. "There is Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that if one country is attacked, other countries should help. Imagine if Syria Or its allies (Russia and Iran) will retaliate and attack Turkey. This is a threat to NATO's security. "

NATO will not support Turkey

Gregory Lukyanov, a political scientist and expert on the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs, believes that NATO will not be able to support Turkey collectively if the situation escalates. "In my view, it is necessary to stress that the position of NATO countries regarding the Turkish military operation in northern Syria is crucial. A number of European countries have already restricted their military contacts with Turkey, cutting off supplies of military equipment and dual-use goods."

"I think the collective position of NATO, which will be expressed by the Secretary-General, will be more restrictive and inconclusive with regard to Turkey. The weaknesses of the Alliance will be covered in every way to preserve it."

But what about obligations under the alliance?

Gregory Lukyanov said that Turkey itself has launched an operation in Syria, so the obligations under the Washington Treaty do not work, '' Article V of the Washington Treaty to some degree obliges NATO countries to confront a single threat. Thus, it may be denied the right to a just war: a war of self-defense.Turkey's position that Kurdish military and political organizations in northern Syria are terrorist is not supported by most NATO member states.

Will the Syrian army respond by striking Turkish troops?

"I consider a scenario of a direct military clash between Syrian and Turkish forces very unlikely. In any case, this is not in the interest of Syria or Turkey. The forces that are now being transferred to Manbij and the Kurdish deployment areas are not deterrent forces. Forces flying the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic: The Syrian side wants to prove that its sovereignty is now spreading in these areas, and the Syrians are not considering any military clash. Only the forces loyal to Turkey, the Somali National Alliance The fact that Turkey has little or no responsibility. Indeed, the Somali National Alliance is now playing the main role in military operations; they bear the main responsibility. In this regard, I believe that the Turkish side will be able to avoid any unwanted conflict. ”

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