NATO is expected to quickly endorse Turkey’s request for Patriot missile deployments along the Syrian border. This isn’t necessarily going to mean the missiles will even be sent to Turkey soon, however, and even the most optimistic say it will be weeks before they are operational.
That’s because even if the alliance rubber stamps the request, it doesn’t necessarily mean the nations that have the missiles will automatically do so, and the parliaments of either Germany or the Netherlands, the closest suppliers, will presumably want to vote on it. To avoid a vote Turkey could go with the US as a supplier, but they are much farther away.
The whole deployment idea is rubbing Russia the wrong way, however, and they are warning both Turkey and NATO against the plan, saying they should be trying to help broker peace instead of militarizing the border.
Though a handful of artillery shells from Syria have strayed into Turkey, officials concede they aren’t sure who fired them, the strikes have been intermittent, and it probably isn’t economical to send $3 million interceptors up to shoot down single artillery shells at any rate. The move is therefore primarily political, and effort by Turkey to flex their muscles in the region, but weeks of delays is putting it so far after the fact it is making the move seem even more ridiculous.
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