Turkey: Patriot Missiles Won’t Be Used for Syria No-Fly Zone

Insists Move Counters 'Missile Threat' From Syria

by Jason Ditz, November 26, 2012

Turkish military officials are seeking to placate growing opposition to their request for Patriot Missiles from other NATO member nations to deploy along the Syrian border, insisting that they will not be used to establish any no-fly zones inside Syrian airspace.

Russian and Syrian officials have been critical of the call, particularly given Turkey’s open backing of certain rebel fighters in the ongoing Syrian Civil War, as an effort to insinuate NATO into the war more directly.

But with today’s comments it’s even less clear what the point of the deployment even is, as Turkey insists it aims at countering a “missile threat” from Syria, but other than a few stray artillery shells, which NATO officials say they can’t even confirm were fired by the Syrian military in the first place, there is no “threat,” and multi-million dollar missiles to shoot down random shells seems overkill at best.

Even some NATO member nations are scratching their heads at the proposal, though the leadership rubber stamped it with little public comment. Other than the further militarization of a border which the Syrian government increasingly doesn’t control in the first place, there seems no reason for the deployment.

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