BREAKING: Poland’s National Security Council Gathers After Stray Missiles Kill 2

On the evening of Tuesday, the Prime Minister of the Polish Republic, Mateusz Morawiecki, urgently called a gathering of the Committee for National Security and Defense Affairs. The reason for the committee’s meeting remain officially unknown, however, it is more than certain that it is connected with the impact of a pair of missiles on Polish territory.

On the afternoon of 15 November, an explosion occurred when a tractor entered a wheat drier barn in the town of Przewodow, located only several kilometers from the border with Ukraine. First responders came to the site of the incident around 4:00pm local time. The initial claims of a tractor explosion were not confirmed and pictures from the incident appear to show missile wreckage. Two people were pronounced dead at the scene.

A a briefing earlier this evening Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, the  Pentagon Press Secretary, said “we have no information to corroborate those reports at this time but are taking them seriously and looking into them.” While reluctant to comment without facts at hand he also reiterated the United States’ commitment to ‘defend every inch of NATO territory’.

An image of wreckage said to be part of a missile and a crater caused by a detonation inside Polish territory.

According to the information published by Associated Press, its anonymous intelligence sources suggest that the missiles which struck Polish soil were Russian. At the time of writing there has been no confirmation provided by Polish officials. While the agenda of the Security Council Meeting remains confidential Poland’s head of National Security confirmed that Poland’s President Andrzej Duda had also spoken directly with President Joe Biden. The case has the potential to further escalate the War in Ukraine and is the first lethal incident of such magnitude to occur in a neighbouring NATO-member state. Under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, an armed attack against one member of the alliance is considered an attack on the collective and members may take the actions deemed necessary to assist the attacked ally.

The Russian Ministry of Defense commented, calling the news of the strike “a provocation in order to escalate the conflict”. Sky News reports that Poland is looking to trigger NATO’s Article 4 which enacts a process to officially raise security concerns within the the North Atlantic Council.

In a statement Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that a total of 90 missiles had been fired at Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure in the previous 24 hours. He condemned the attacks and expressed his support for Russia noting that the missiles said to have landed in Poland represented a “very significant escalation” and that it was an “attack on collective security! We must act.” Polish and NATO officials will seek to ascertain the origin of the missile and investigate how the incident occurred. While expert consensus on the incident will be needed before NATO can take any action officials have down played the likelihood of Article 5 being enacted.

Header Image: Image claimed to show the effect of a missile detonation on Polish territory (via social media)