NATO chief says Turkey has right to self-defense

urkey has the right to self-defense like all other countries, NATO’s secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said as Turkey continues targeting terrorist positions in northern Syria.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Madrid on Thursday, Stoltenberg said: “Turkey suffered most from terrorist attacks over many years.”

“And Turkey, as all countries, has the right to self-defense,” he said.

Stoltenberg highlighted that this needed to be done “in a proportionate and measured way”.

“That is the message I convey every time I discuss this issue with different NATO leaders including the political leadership in Turkey.”

Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from the city of Afrin.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the ongoing operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN Charter and respect for Syria’s territorial integrity, it said.

The military also said “utmost importance” is being put on not harming civilians.