Military alliance sends three warships, backed by planes, to intercept migrants and refugees in admission from EU that it is failing to cope with flow of people.
Nato has sent a patrol of three warships to intercept migrants trying to reach Greece by sea and send them back to Turkey, as Europe steps up efforts to contain the refugee crisis.
The mission has been agreed and ordered to the Aegean sea in less than 24 hours, an extremely rapid move for the alliance. Nato normally spends months deliberating over decisions and agreeing details.
The German-led patrol will be backed by planes that can monitor the flow of people attempting illegal crossings. Greece and Turkey have agreed that any migrants they intercept will be sent back.
“They will not be taken back to Greece. The aim of the group is to have them taken back to Turkey. That is the crucial difference,” said the British defence secretary, Michael Fallon.
“This is the first time we have seen a group tasked with returning migrants. That has not happened before. So that is quite an important development.”
The UK does not have any ships involved but is looking at how it could contribute, Fallon …read more