Rasmussen says NATO has plans to defend Turkey if needed

BRUSSELS, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The head of NATO said on Tuesday the military alliance had plans in place to defend Turkey against attack if needed.

"We have all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary," Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters before a meeting of the alliance's defence ministers in Brussels.

Following Syrian gunfire and shelling, NATO ambassadors threw their support behind Turkey in an emergency meeting last week. Turkish forces have retaliated against the bombardment from northern Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's forces are battling rebels.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft. Writing by Sebastian Moffett; Editing by Janet Lawrence)