Davutoğlu cautions on use of Patriots

Davutoğlu cautions on use of Patriots

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey is deploying the Patriot missile system not only against threats from the Syrian regime, but also against any group who may capture missiles in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said yesterday.

“Syria is in a chaotic situation right now. We are deploying NATO’s Patriots in case any kind of missile attack takes place against us from the Syrian side. This may be carried out consciously by the Syrian regime itself, or by others who might capture the missiles,” Davutoğlu said.

Speaking at a conference organized by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO), Davutoğlu said it was totally untrue that the Patriot system was directed against Iran. “Some of the statements made by Iran regarding this issue do not correspond to anything,” he said.

Davutoğlu also said the Patriots would be sent back as soon as the threat ceases.

The missiles systems provided by NATO are currently being deployed in an area close to the southern Turkey-Syria border.

The foreign minister also revealed that his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, had called him on Jan. 9 to thank him, after the Syrian rebels freed 48 Iranians in exchange for more than 2,000 prisoners being held by the Syrian government.

“We are standing on the side of Syrian people today, as we stood on the side of Iran two years ago when a U.N. Security Council decision was made to impose sanctions against it,” Davutoğlu said.