NATO chief warns Turkey against subverting Syria

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NATO—the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—is cautioning Turkey not to "further destabilize the region" by its military action in northern Syria.

The U.S. Department of Defense—as did President Donald J. Trump—on Monday issued a statement saying, “We do not endorse a Turkish operation in northern Syria.”

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday, October 9, urges Turkey, a NATO ally “to act with restraint.”

[Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General]: "I count on Turkey to act with restraint and ensure that any action it may take in northern Syria is proportionate and measured. ..."

Speaking at a news conference in Rome, Stoltenberg also says Turkey "has legitimate security concerns,'' having endured "horrendous terrorist attacks.''

The NATO chief, however, warns Turkey to avoid the escalation of conflicts in the region: "It is important to avoid actions that may further destabilize the region, escalate tensions, and cause more human suffering."

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who is with Stoltenberg, expresses concern, upon learning from the NATO chief that Turkey has made a “unilateral” decision to invade northeastern Syria controlled by Kurdish forces that was supported by U.S. army forces for the past five years.

Stoltenberg says he will discuss this issue with Turkey's leader on Friday in Istanbul.

The Pentagon warned Turkey, Monday, October 8, not to invade northern Syria, after White House’s announcement to remove U.S. troops from Syrian land along Turkey’s border. "The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey—as did the President [Donald J. Trump]—that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in northern Syria. The U.S. armed forces will not support, or be involved in any such operation,” Pentagon’s chief spokesman said in a statement.

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