The NATO military alliance will hold an emergency meeting in Brussels on Tuesday in response to Turkey’s call for urgent action to deal with the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) along its borders.
NATO member Turkey called for the meeting on Sunday under the alliance’s Article 4 after it launched a number of air raids against ISIL positions in Syria and Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq.
The air raids come as violence targeting Turks suddenly increased in the past few days.
On July 20, a male suicide bomber killed 32 demonstrators in Suruc, near the Syrian border and regions held by ISIL.
They had been peacefully calling on help to rebuild the Syrian town of Kobani (Ain Al Arab) which was earlier this year liberated from ISIL’s hold.
More than 100 people were wounded in the attack.
Four days later, two Turkish policemen were killed in Ceylanpinar in southeastern Turkey. The Kurdish rebel group Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed responsibility saying the attack was in retaliation for the massacre in Suruc. The PKK accused Turkish security forces of collaborating with ISIL.
Ankara launched air raids against their positions in northern Iraq the following day.
On July 26, a car bomb targeting a Turkish military vehicle in Diyarbakir killed two soldiers and injured four.
The PKK has been for decades fighting to create a Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey. It is classified as a terrorist organization by the US and EU.
On Monday, Syrian Kurdish forces said that Turkish tanks had shelled their positions.
The Turkish foreign ministry denied that the military had targeted Syrian Kurds, who are currently engaged in fierce battles against ISIL forces.
“We target those who target Turkey, not those who do not,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told local media on Monday.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies