MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. The situation in Syria’s Idlib does not give NATO cause for joint retaliation in accordance with the alliance’s fundamental documents, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
"The Washington Treaty, which regulates the relations between NATO states, stipulates the right to demand consultations if a country’s territorial integrity and political independence is threatened," Lavrov commented. "There is Article 5, which deals with the situations when a NATO member is attacked, as the article says, on the territory of Europe and North America. Then the mechanism of consultations and retaliation is deployed. I do not think that the current situation in Syria falls under any of these situations stipulated in these articles of the Washington Treaty."
Lavrov stressed that the Washington Treaty enshrines the purely defensive nature of NATO.
Tensions in Syria’s Idlib escalated once again in the early hours of Friday. Turkey stated that 33 of its military officers had been killed in an attack of the Syrian government forces. In response, Turkey struck over 200 Syrian military targets.
On the outcomes of Syria’s attack, Turkey launched NATO consultations in Brussels at the level of ambassadors claiming that an attack on NATO took place. The consultations are held in accordance with Article 4 of the Washington Treaty, which allows NATO member states to hold such meetings if they think that their security, independence or territorial integrity have been undermined.