NATO will deploy Patriot missiles on the Turkey-Syria border, as NATO Foreign Ministers approved Tuesday a request from Ankara for the missiles. Turkey requested the Patriot missiles over concerns of a possible attack from Syria, which it claimed could include chemical weapons.
In response to Turkey’s request, NATO said it has decided to augment Turkey’s air defense capabilities to defend the population and territory of Turkey and contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along the Alliance’s border.
“We have agreed to do so within the framework of the NATO integrated air defense system in order to preserve, protect and enhance the ability to defend the population and territory of Turkey in accordance with the NATO standing defense plan,” the NATO Foreign Ministers said in a statement.
NATO said it welcomes the intention of Germany, the Netherlands and the United States to provide Patriot missile batteries, subject to their respective national procedures.
These systems will be under the operational command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). Any deployment will be defensive only, said NATO, adding that it will in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation.
NATO said its ultimate task is the protection and defense of its members.
“Today, we underline once again our steadfast commitment to the security of this Alliance, and our full solidarity and resolve to protect our populations and territories,” NATO said.