NATO is joining the US-led coalition operating in Syria and Iraq, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.
NATO leaders will adopt a new plan to step up the fight against terrorism, Stoltenberg told reporters at a news conference in Brussels. The plan will include NATO’s membership in the US-led coalition against ISIS.
“This will send a strong political message of NATO’s commitment to the fight against terrorism. And improve coordination within the coalition. But it does not mean that NATO will engage in combat operations,” the alliance’s secretary general said. “Today we will decide to expand our support to the coalition. With more AWACS flight-time, more information-sharing, and air-to-air refueling.”
NATO members will reportedly establish a new terrorism intelligence cell here at NATO HQ and appoint a coordinator to oversee efforts in the fight against terrorism.
According to Stoltenberg, the military black will not be engaged in direct fight on the ground.
However, he added that NATO may play a role in “training local forces” fighting ISIS.
“Training local forces is one of the best weapons in the fight against terrorism. We are already training Iraqi forces.”
It should be noted that the US ground operation in Syria also started as an effort to rain “local forces” in the war-torn country.