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Syria: NATO evaluating Turkish request for Patriot missiles

For deployment along Syria border, for defense only

21 November, 18:05
(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, NOVEMBER 21 - NATO is evaluating Turkey's request for Patriot missiles to be deployed along its Syria border, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a communique on Wednesday. ''I received a formal request for Patriot missiles from the Turkish government. The deployment would increase Turkey's air defense capability, contributing to the de-escalation of the crisis along NATO's southeastern border. It would also be a concrete demonstration of Alliance solidarity,'' the communique said.

''The missiles would be deployed solely for defensive purposes and would not be used to ensure a no-fly zone or for offensive operations. NATO will discuss this request immediately. If approved, the deployment would be in line with Alliance defense plans,'' Rasmussen went on.

NATO countries with Patriot missiles - Germany, the Netherlands and the US - will have to decide whether or not they can deploy the missiles in Turkey and for how long. A joint inspection team will travel to Turkey next week. (ANSAmed).