NATO says would help defend Turkey if threatened by Islamic State

BRUSSELS Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:34am EDT

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during his meeting with Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk in Kiev August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kravchenko/Pool

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during his meeting with Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk in Kiev August 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Kravchenko/Pool

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO would take all steps necessary to defend alliance member Turkey if it were threatened by Islamic State fighters who have made gains in neighboring Iraq and Syria, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.

"We are very much concerned about the activities of the so-called Islamic State, which is a bunch of terrorists, and it is of utmost importance to stop their advance," Rasmussen told Reuters in an interview.

"If any of our allies, and in this case of course particularly Turkey, were to be threatened from any source of threat, we won't hesitate to take all steps necessary to ensure effective defense of Turkey or any other ally," he said.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Martin Santa)

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