Posted: Oct 9, 2012 11:45 AM by Associated Press
BRUSSELS (AP) - NATO says it is ready to defend alliance member Turkey amid artillery exchanges along its tense southeastern border with Syria.
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says that Ankara can rely on the alliance, which has "all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary."
But he's appealing to all parties involved to show restraint and avoid an escalation in the crisis.
Turkey and Syria have exchanged mortar and cannon fire across their common border since errant Syrian shells killed five Turkish civilians last week. The border region has been the scene of bloody clashed between Syrian government forces and rebel militants who have used safe havens within Turkey.
Syria says it is not seeking any escalation of violence with Turkey.
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