1 June 2012A potential Iranian attack against the NATO early warning radar system installed in Turkey will be interpreted as an aggression against the whole of NATO, and requires the application of article five of the alliance, the United States’ top envoy at NATO has said.
“If Turkey were to be attacked, just like if the U.S. or Canada or any other NATO member states were to be attacked, article five applies no matter what the circumstance is, no matter what the reason is,” U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder said at an online press conference Thursday.
Daalder was responding to the Hürriyet Daily News’ question on whether the alliance would defend if Iran targeted NATO’s early warning radar system deployed in Kürecik, a district in Turkey’s eastern province of Malatya. Considering that the system is against Iran, some Iranian officials have not hesitated in threatening Turkey that they could hit the installation.
“Article five of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization says an armed attack against one is an armed attack against all,” Daalder added.
“Deployment of the U.S. radar in Turkey is a fundamental part of the missile defense system that we are collectively deploying in NATO. At Chicago the leaders declared an interim missile defense capability. So that the radar and other assets could operate under the operational control of NATO,” he said.
Ambassador Daalder recalled that President Barack Obama announced during the Chicago Summit that the authority over the control and command of the radar had been transferred from U.S. commanders to NATO commanders. “The radar will operate under NATO rules of engagement under NATO operational control, on a day to day basis,” he said.
No Way to Intervene Syria
Answering a question about NATO’s possible military intervention to Syria, Ambassador Daalder referred to the U.N. Security Council and to the activities of the Syrian opposition groups.
“For most NATO members, the U.N. Security Council has to mandate military action. That is what happened in Libya. It hasn’t happened with Syria. It isn’t likely to happen with Syria,” he added.
However, he did call on the Syrian government to stop violence against civilians.