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POLITICS > Patriots in Turkey cannot protect Israel from Iran, minister says

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"It is not technically possible for a missile, the target of which could be 36 kilometers away, to intercept a missile launched from Iran to Israel,” Defense Minister Yılmaz said. AA photo

"It is not technically possible for a missile, the target of which could be 36 kilometers away, to intercept a missile launched from Iran to Israel,” Defense Minister Yılmaz said. AA photo

Once again refuting the opposition’s claim that the Patriot missile system deployed in Turkish territories by NATO actually aims to protect Israel from Iran, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz has stated that such protection is technically impossible.

The operational command of the system will belong to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) in order to fulfill legitimate defense in the most effective way, Yılmaz said Feb. 5.

“Some of our colleagues lodged claims that ‘the target of the deployment of these [Patriots] is aimed at protecting Israel from missiles to be launched from Iran,’ which does not at all comply with the truth. It is not technically possible for a missile, the target of which could be 36 kilometers away, to intercept a missile launched from Iran to Israel,” Yılmaz said in an address to Parliament informing lawmakers of the NATO deployment of Patriot missiles in the face of a probable threat from Syria.

“Patriots are not weapons of attack. Taking into consideration the fact that it is solely a defense system, the firing authority should be held at the level that can fulfill legitimate defense in the most effective way. In this regard, the command of the Patriots will be held by the Allied Commander Europe,” Yılmaz said.

Not only the opposition parties in Turkey but officials from neighboring Iran also suggested that the deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey was designed to protect Israel from Iranian threats. Last month, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast said the missiles were “placed by NATO and the West to protect Israel” against possible incoming Iranian missiles.

Three NATO allies – the United States, Germany and the Netherlands – each committed to sending two batteries and up to 400 soldiers to operate them after Ankara asked for help to bolster its air defenses against possible missile attack from Syria.

Currently, five of six Patriot batteries belonging to Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. are operating in Turkey, with a second U.S. Patriot battery expected to become operational in the coming days as construction at its future site in the southeastern Anatolian province of Gaziantep nears completion.

February/06/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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ivan mezei

2/7/2013 6:09:26 AM

Murat: in fact Iran is already menacingly in your back yard in the proxy of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Assad in Syria. With one side of your mouth you laud the Iranians because Iran is the enemy of my enemy on the other side of that same aperture you loath the Iranians and look for protection from their missiles whether they'll be comming from Lebanon or Syria or straight from Iran. So typical Turkish. But then your fearless leader is no different

Rimon Tree

2/6/2013 10:09:43 PM

Though Murat uses every possible article to edit old and biased commonplaces I must disappoint him on the fact, that Israel would rely on Turkey for whatever reason. Israel is well apt to defend herself and actually nobody woudl rely on Turkey with great trust.

rich bind

2/6/2013 9:02:04 PM

Truth be told, this Turkish government would cheer the destruction of Israel, by anyone. Just not so sure how the US would respond to Turkey assisting Iran in their stated goal to destroy the Jewish State.

mara mcglothin

2/6/2013 7:43:40 PM

MURAT The main problem with Iran is that they have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. AS long as the Patriots are there for protect, who really cares who it is protecting?

Murat

2/6/2013 5:01:11 PM

While Iranian armed forces have not murdered unarmed Turkish citizens in open seas and got medals for it, they have not killed UN observers, invaded other countries, or leveled towns and cities and do not engage in apertehid, I do not see why it is terrible that these missiles protect (they do not) Israel or others from any harm. Unless of course they need to be protected from an Iranian retalitory strike. That would be unacceptable.

David Bensoussan

2/6/2013 4:04:28 PM

Is the Minister trying to answer to a ridiculous Iranian claim on defensive weapons by another ridiculous one? Comes to think about it, Turkey has more to fear from the tyrannical regional ambitions of Iran than from Israel. The Minister should in fact be worried and make sure Turkey does its best to defend Israel

Aryeh Rapaport

2/6/2013 3:18:50 PM

Israel does not & will never depend on Turkey to protect her. Israel will always be the only country which secures its future. Turks, with all due respect- Israel helped build patriot missiles & is many years more advanced then Turkish defense capability. Turkey should focus more on building universities, new education programs & less on Islamic education schools - maybe that way it can catch up.

Eyal Eyal

2/6/2013 12:10:05 PM

At this days its more likely that Turkey will fire missiles at Israel then fire patriot missiles to protect it from Syria / Iran.

Stanko Barac

2/6/2013 12:09:12 PM

The minister is either naive or covering something. Patriots protect US radar AN/TPY-2 in Malatya. The radar has a range of 2000 km , it covers Iran and its data is used to protect Israel.
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