Turkey Asks NATO to Keep Missile Defenses Near Syrian Border

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Nov. 13, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

A NATO of­fi­cial said Tur­key has asked the or­gan­iz­a­tion to ap­prove a one-year ex­ten­sion of its Pat­ri­ot mis­sile-de­fense de­ploy­ment to help de­fend its bor­der with Syr­ia, Agence France-Presse re­por­ted on Wed­nes­day.

“The North At­lantic Coun­cil has reg­u­larly as­sessed the situ­ation and the im­ple­ment­a­tion of the Pat­ri­ot mis­sion. It is clear that the over­all risks and threats to Tur­key re­main ser­i­ous,” the un­named NATO of­fi­cial said.

Tur­key asked for an ini­tial de­ploy­ment last year, after five people near the bor­der were killed by a Syr­i­an bomb. NATO, at the time, said that Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad’s use of bal­list­ic mis­siles en­dangers Tur­key.

Ger­many, the Neth­er­lands and the United States — which sent the ini­tial six mis­sile bat­ter­ies — will con­sider the new re­quest. A Turk­ish of­fi­cial told Re­u­ters that it is likely to be ap­proved.

Tur­key was pre­vi­ously con­sidered an ally to As­sad, but the coun­tries’ dip­lo­mat­ic re­la­tion­ship has eroded since the start of the civil war, with at least 600,000 Syr­i­an refugees cross­ing in­to Tur­key. 

The re­quest fol­lows Tur­key’s an­nounce­ment earli­er this month that it would pro­sec­ute a French na­tion­al ac­cused of smug­gling pos­sible chem­ic­al-weapon in­gredi­ents in­to Syr­ia.


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