NATO begins study on sites for Patriots
A Turkish-NATO delegation inspects possible sites in Malatya for Patriots. Turkey last week asked NATO to deploy missles for defense purposes. AA photoA delegation of Turkish and NATO officials began a site survey in the Eastern Anatolian province of Malatya yesterday for the deployment of Patriot missiles. The joint Turkish-NATO team will decide where to station the missiles, how many will be needed and the number of foreign troops that will be sent to operate them.
The NATO experts visited the Altay military base in Malatya - which already hosts an early warning radar as part of NATO’s missile defense system – and they left the base after an hour long examination.
However, vehicles carrying the delegation got struck in the mud on the way to the field in the Battalgazi district, so they instead arrived at the destination on foot. Turkey last week asked NATO partners to deploy the surface-to-air missiles after a series of cross-border shellings.
Meeting next week
The deployment of the Patriots is likely to be discussed at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels next week.Turkish officials say the number of Patriot batteries and their location would be decided after the visiting team reports back to the alliance.
NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said the NATO team was expected to finish its work in the next few days and would feed its proposals to NATO’s military authorities.