NATO Approves Turkey Patriot Missiles Deployment against Syria

Politics » DEFENSE | December 4, 2012, Tuesday // 20:22| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: NATO Approves Turkey Patriot Missiles Deployment against Syria NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, gives press briefing at the start of a two-day NATO foreign ministers meeting at the alliance headquarters in Brussels. EPA/BGNES

NATO member states' foreign ministers meeting Tuesday in Brussels have approved Turkey's request to deploy Patriot missiles along Turkey's border with Syria.

"The situation along NATO’s south-eastern border and the repeated violations of Turkey’s territory raise grave concern," reads an official statement published after the meeting.

"In response to Turkey’s request, NATO has decided to augment Turkey’s air defence capabilities in order to defend the population and territory of Turkey and contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along the Alliance’s border," adds the statement.

The NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs however stress that the deployment of Patriot missiles will be defensive only and in no way mandate an offensive operation or the imposition of a no-fly zone.

"We express our appreciation to the Turkish people and authorities for assisting Syrian citizens who found refuge in Turkey. We call for an end to violence in Syria, which represents a serious threat to stability and security in the region," concludes the statement.

In November the Turkish government led by PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan officially requested Patriot missiles from NATO to be deployed along its border with Syria.

Russia has reacted sharply to Turkey's request, arguing that such deployment would actually further worsen boiling tensions.

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Tags: patriot missiles, Syria, turkey, NATO, Turkish, Syrian, Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
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