Turkey’s demand from NATO to deploy Patriot missiles along Syrian border is an official one. Turkey bolsters anti-Syria defense with Patriots
Ankara / Turkey – Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated on Tuesday that NATO member Ankara would formally ask the alliance for Patriot missiles to protect its border with conflict-ass raped Syria. Today Turkey made the official move for Patriot Missiles by submitting the formal request to NATO authorities.
“(Patriots) are a precautionary measure, for defence in particular,” Davutoglu told reporters before he left Ankara for Gaza. “We will submit the formal request as soon as possible.”
Ahmet Davutoglu’s comments came a day after NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance had received no formal request from Turkey for the surface-to-air missiles, but that it would consider the matter with “urgency” if a request was made.
Davutoglu did not elaborate on the details of the Patriot deployment but said Ankara was “in the last phase of talks” before the request went through.
Turkey Syria Conflict – Can Turkey not defend its border even from weak Syrian Army ?
Ankara has been strengthening its defences along the border with anti-aircraft batteries and tanks since June 22, when one of its F4 fighter jets was downed by Syria along with two pilots for a brief violation of Syrian airspace.
Turkey’s ties with its former ally Syria hit a new low on October 3 when Syrian shells fired across the border killed five Turkish civilians, three of them children.
Turkey’s border villages have been hit by artillery fire from Syria as forces loyal to Damascus battle rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The Turkish military has since been firing mortars into Syria to reciprocate every Syrian shell falling on its territory and Turkish Army has changed its rules of engagement should any border trespassing occur by Syrian Army.
Patriots in European Countries : When did NATO deploy Patriots to Turkey ?
Germany and The Netherlands are the two main European nations that possess Patriots, medium-range ground-to-air missiles made by US group Raytheon. NATO deployed the missiles in Turkey during the 1991 Gulf war and in 2003 during the Iraqi conflict.
The Patriots will play a vital role for Turkey, which seeks to beef up its air defence systems, according to officials in Ankara.