NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen confirmed Wednesday that NATO is considering a request from Turkey to deploy Patriot missiles along that country’s border with Syria.
“I have received a letter from the Turkish government requesting the deployment of Patriot missiles. Such a deployment would augment Turkey’s air defence capabilities to defend the population and territory of Turkey,” said Rasmussen in a statement, adding that a deployment” would contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along NATO’s south-eastern border. And it would be a concrete demonstration of Alliance solidarity and resolve.”
According to Rasmussen, the Turkish government has promised that the deployment will be defensive only, and that it will in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation.
“NATO will discuss Turkey’s request without delay,” Rasmussen said.
If approved, the deployment would be undertaken in accordance with NATO’s standing air defense plan.
“It is up to the individual NATO countries that have available Patriots – Germany, the Netherlands and the United States – to decide if they can provide them for deployment in Turkey and for how long,” Rasmussen said.
Next week a joint team will visit Turkey to conduct a site-survey for the possible deployment of Patriots.
“The security of the Alliance is indivisible. NATO is fully committed to deterring against any threats and defending Turkey’s territorial integrity,” Rasmussen said.