NATO chief says allies must stay united in IS fight

Athens, Oct 11 (AFP/APP): NATO must stay united in the fight against the Islamic State group, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned on Thursday amid Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

“We have to remember that we need to continue to stand together in our common fight against a common enemy, which is ISIS,” he said during a visit to Athens.

“ISIS are still present on the ground, in Iraq, Syria… in Afghanistan,” he added.

“We have made enormous progress in the fight against ISIS… we must make sure that we preserve those gains.”

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The Turkish military, supported by Syrian proxies, launched the offensive against Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria on Wednesday, despite widespread international warnings.

NATO member Turkey says its operation is aimed at pushing back Syrian Kurdish forces, which it considers “terrorists”, and establishing a “safe zone” to help repatriate Syrian refugees.

Stoltenberg earlier this week urged Turkey to show “restraint” in its operation against Kurdish forces in Syria, warning that the fight against the Islamic State group should not be put at risk.

On Thursday he added that the operation should also avoid causing “more human suffering.”

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