October 12, 2015 / 12:56 PM / 4 years ago

NATO says will help Turkey against Russia if needed

STAVANGER, Norway (Reuters) - NATO will help member country Turkey if needed, the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday, days after Russian jets bombing Syria violated Turkish airspace.

Asked whether NATO would be prepared to defend ally Turkey against Russia, Stoltenberg said: “Turkey is a strong ally and they have the second-largest army,” he told Reuters.

“They have a capable air force, so the Turkish armed forces are the first responders, but NATO is there to help and assist them if they need.”

(This story has been corrected in headline and text to show Stoltenberg’s answer was to a question about Russia, not bombing in Ankara)

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Writing by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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