Erdogan Suggests Invoking Article 5 Of NATO Charter To Protect Turkey’s Border With Syria

Earlier this week, Syrian government forces fired their weapons across the Lebanese and Turkish borders, killing a television journalist and at least two people in a refugee camp in Turkey. In response, the Turkish government summoned the Syrian ambassador to protest what was the first attack from Syria since Turkey began hosting refugees.

Yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised the possibility of invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and calling on NATO to protect Turkey’s border:

“We have many options. A country has rights born out of international law against border violations,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Hurriyet daily and other newspapers.

Also, NATO has responsibilities to do with Turkey’s borders, according to Article 5,” added Erdogan, whose country is a NATO member.

According to Article 5, NATO members “agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence.” NATO first invoked Article 5 after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States.

CNN reports that State Department officials have said that the Obama administration is discussing creating a buffer zone on the border between Turkey and Syria. “It would be correct to say this idea is getting another look in the last week or so,” one official said about the buffer zone.