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This question already has an answer here:

Assuming that the Turkish army gets involved in military action beyond its southeast border to Syria, what should the NATO do? Please consider three cases of military action: from Kurd troops, from Syrian national troops or from Russian troops.

marked as duplicate by Fizz, Jan, JJ for Transparency and Monica, Stormblessed, Alone Programmer Oct 15 at 14:58

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    Well, when Britain was attacked in the Falkland Islands in 1982, I do not recall this question arising. The US provided some help with intelligence sharing, but by and large we were on our own. I certainly don't remember Turkey getting involved! So there would appear to be some precedent there. – WS2 Oct 14 at 23:01
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    Possible duplicate of If Turkey enters in war, are other NATO members obligated to assist her? The answers below don't provide any additional info beside reproducing the NATO articles, which are frankly better analysed in the answer to the other question . – Fizz Oct 15 at 4:59
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    @WS2 : At least the British were attacked in a territory that, according to almost every other country, was recognized to belong to them. If article 5 wasn't relevant there, it would be even less likely to be relevant in the case of Turkish troops which are inside another sovereign country's territory. Also, "being attacked outside its national borders" is quite an euphemism for going to attack someone outside of their own national borders and being fired upon in self-defense. If Britain decided to conquer Finland, would NATO be obliged to help? – vsz Oct 15 at 6:11
  • @WS2: There should be written rules so the legal situation should not have to rely on (or even in the least care about) precedents. – TaW Oct 15 at 7:03
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Can a NATO member call Article 5 after being attacked outside its national borders?

The area covered by the treaty is stated in article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty:

Article 6

For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:

  • on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France2, on the territory of Turkey or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer;
  • on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.

2 On January 16, 1963, the North Atlantic Council noted that insofar as the former Algerian Departments of France were concerned, the relevant clauses of this Treaty had become inapplicable as from July 3, 1962.

So strictly the answer to your general question is yes. But it depends on the specific situation as laid out in article 6.


Assuming that the Turkish army gets involved in military action beyond its southeast border to Syria, what should the NATO do? Please consider three cases of military action: from Kurd troops, from Syrian national troops or from Russian troops.

In these cases, no. These are outside the territory of Turkey (so the first bullet point doesn't apply) and it's outside Europe and the mentioned territories (so the second bullet point doesn't apply either).

As stated in article 5 cited in Phoog's answer, it doesn't matter which of these parties perpetrates the attack for the purpose of invoking NATO article 5.

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Can a NATO member call Article 5 after being attacked outside its national borders?

Not if that attack is in Asia. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty:

Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

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