By Jeremy Herb
The secretary general also emphasized restraint from all sides, as the ratcheted up cross-border tensions have the potential to draw Turkey further into the conflict.
Tensions between Turkey, a NATO member, and Syria have escalated in the past week since artillery shells crossed the border from Syria and killed five civilians in Turkey amid the civil war between President Bashar Assad’s forces and the Syrian opposition.
NATO convened an emergency meeting after the attack between Turkey and NATO leaders. A day after the strike, the Turkish parliament authorized unilateral military action against Syria.
As the mortar and artillery shells have continued to come from both sides across the border, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said Monday that the “worst-case scenario” was occurring on the border.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is also in Brussels for the NATO meeting, where he said Tuesday that he will reassure U.S. allies over the rising number of “insider” attacks in Afghanistan.
"My goal is to make clear to NATO and to our allies that we are taking all steps necessary to confront this issue and that it should not be allowed to deter us from the plan that Gen. Allen put in place," Panetta said according to the AP.