NATO allies agreed on Friday to send aircraft and ships to Turkey to strengthen Ankara’s air defences on its border with Syria, the alliance’s chief said.

Diplomats said the package is partly designed to avoid more shoot-downs of Russian planes.

Envoys to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation approved the plan and must now decide what military assets to send to Turkey, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters, stressing that it was a defensive measure.

“We have agreed on a package of assurance measures for Turkey in view of the volatile situation in the region,” Stoltenberg said, although he avoided any reference to Russia’s military involvement in Syria and its air incursions. […]