Turkish army reiterates Patriots are for defense, not for no-fly zone
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe Turkish Armed Forces have repeatedly underlined statements from Turkish officials that NATO’s Patriot missile system, to be deployed in Turkish territory, is not for offensive operations, but rather for defensive purposes.
A delegation made up of Turkish and NATO officials will begin conducting a site-survey Nov. 27 for the deployment of Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems, a written statement issued on Monday by the Turkish General Staff said.
The system was not for a “no-fly zone or offensive operations,” but just for use “against an air or missile threat from Syria,” the statement said.
NATO had been carrying out work for command and control, rules of engagement and integration of Patriot systems with Turkey’s air defense system, the statement also said.
Foreign soldiers assigned to operate the system in Turkey would be placed under the framework of a memorandum of understanding in accordance to Turkey’s status of forces agreement (SOFA) with NATO, the General Staff said.
Regions the Patriot systems would be deployed to and the number of foreign personnel assigned to come to Turkey with it would be determined in consequence of the NATO delegation’s site-survey, said the statement.
NATO responded positively to Turkey’s request for a Patriot system, made last week in a bid to gain support for the country’s air defense system.