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Ankara plans to request NATO deploy a Patriot missile defense system in its territories in case of escalation of the scale of attacks against Turkey by the al-Assad regime. A senior Turkish diplomat says Turkey and NATO have been working on contingency plans

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Patriot missiles were deployed twice in the past in Turkey, both in the context of the Iraqi war in the early 1990s and 2000s. AFP photo

Patriot missiles were deployed twice in the past in Turkey, both in the context of the Iraqi war in the early 1990s and 2000s. AFP photo

Serkan Demirtaş Serkan Demirtaş serkan.demirtas@hdn.com.tr

Turkey plans to officially request NATO deploy a Patriot missile defense system in its territories as a security precaution against a potential large-scale military offensive from Syria as Syrian shelling on the border raises tensions.

“We have been closely working with NATO on contingency plans regarding the developments in Syria and these plans also include the deployment of missile defense systems in Turkey,” a senior Turkish diplomatic source said Oct. 30. “We are planning to make this request in the case of escalation of the scale of attacks against us.”

Turkey has invoked Article 4 of the NATO treaty twice, which provides for consultations, after the downing of its jet and the killing of five Turkish citizens in a Syrian shelling, but took no action in pursuing Article 5, which considers an attack against one member an attack against all. “We have received sufficient support from NATO so far. The last statement NATO issued after the Akçakale incident was very powerful. We continue to be in close dialogue with the alliance,” the source said.

Turkey has requested the deployment of Patriot missile defense systems twice in the past, both in the context of the Iraqi war in the early 1990s and 2000s. In both cases they were deployed by the Netherlands, as only a few countries have such missile systems. “I would not be surprised if Turkey would soon make such a request,” a diplomat from a NATO country said. “The situation is getting worse in Syria, and it’s the right of Turkey to take necessary security measures.”

The Turkish diplomatic source dismissed claims that Turkey would ask to use NATO’s early warning radar system located in the Kürecik province of Malatya in Eastern Anatolia, because Turkey’s national radar system was capable of tracing Syrian missiles.

Turkish diplomatic sources have also fiercely reacted against U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling’s comments last week that it is not clear who is shooting shells from Syria into Turkey. “We are not sure if these shells are from the Syrian army, from rebels who want to get Turkey involved in the issue or from the outlawed PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party),” he said.

The source said, “The bombs that landed in Turkey show they are Russian-made Douchka bombs. What he said is really ridiculous.”

November/02/2012

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Brian Irlanda

11/6/2012 9:05:24 PM

Greece has patriot missiles? They probably will have to sell them and give the money to the ECB!

mr who

11/4/2012 2:04:30 AM

Turkish artillery gunners are the best on the planet of coarse protected by anti mortar and artillery machine guns with surface to air missile systems and with tow of their 500 horse power armed truck fleet with air cover cannot be challenged, who needs the patriot.

Murat

11/2/2012 6:54:18 PM

It is the prudent thing to do. There are a lot more than mortars and and AK-47s south of the border. This would be a signal to Russia above all.

JRC JRC

11/2/2012 2:00:57 PM

"Many of the Syrian army are told their fighting terroists from outside Syria,little do they know". You are aware, of course, that it's well known there are at least 100 Turks fighting against Assad's forces, and many thousands of other religious extremists? And what's this about Turkey flexing her muscles, it's not stopped the PKK has it? Turkey's genuinely well-trained professional army is so small, and so carefully watched by the AKP, it is no longer is as feared as before.

Rimon Tree

11/2/2012 9:07:58 AM

“The bombs that landed in Turkey show they are Russian-made Douchka bombs. What he said is really ridiculous.” Is it? How many arms depots the rebemight have already plundered?

Michael Johnson

11/2/2012 8:17:35 AM

Patriots against mortars? That's like shooting bowling balls at flies. This is not something Patriots are designed to deter.

Nikos T.

11/2/2012 8:05:33 AM

Greece has Patriots (and S300). They should deploy some in south Turkey and Cyprus.

ilker avni

11/2/2012 6:49:56 AM

Russia is hopeing that the syrian conflict spills over into Turkey,Iraq and Iran are the main suppliers of arms to Assad,Iranian grand leader said he would welcome if the war spilled over into Turkey,and is supporting the pkk with latest iranian made arms,Iran see,s Turkey as a western stooge after agreeing the nato radar shield,Iran has warned it would target Turkey if Israel or the west attacked Iran.Turkey is now a front line country faceing Syrian and Iranian threats.

ilker avni

11/2/2012 5:55:45 AM

Turkey should be prepared for anything.The real danger will come when israel attacks Iran,which it will do some time after the elections in America,if Mitt Romney wins.Turkey should use this as a excuse to excercise its capablities,ready for any thing that may arise in the future.Allso Turkey flexing her muscles,may convince the Syrian army to defect to the opposstion forces and stop fighting.Many of the Syrian army are told their fighting terroists from outside Syria,little do they know.
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