NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has completely ruled out the possibility that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would assist combat missions against Daesh if it joins the US-led coalition.
Stoltenberg took part at the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels on Thursday, where defense ministers discussed military cooperation issues. Stoltenberg confirmed that NATO member states were discussing whether they would join the US-led coalition.
However, Stoltenberg insisted that NATO would not participate in combat missions. “It is absolutely out of the question for NATO to go into combat operations,” he said.
“No decision has been taken. The discussion is going on,” Stoltenberg said, reiterating that NATO would not bow to pressure by the US, even at the end of the month, when president Donald Trump is expected to visit Brussels on 25 May.
Trump is obviously seeking a greater role for NATO in the campaign against militants in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but an agreement with NATO has not been reached yet. Such an agreement would make them join the coalition against Daesh even though all are individual members of the US-led campaign.