NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen today reiterated that the alliance intends to deploy Patriot missiles to the Turkish border with Syria in response to Turkish requests in recent weeks.
The excuse for such a deployment has been lacking, however, with the sum total of cross-border shelling a few stray artillery shells which US officials have conceded that can’t even say for sure were fired by Syria’s military in the first place.
But officials were talking up Syria’s chemical weapons program today, and that seems as good an excuse as any, so NATO officials are now saying the deployment is about shielding Turkey from a chemical weapons attack.
Russia, for their part, are reiterating their own criticism of the plan, saying the whole thing is pointless and just a further provocation of Syria. Since Turkey is openly backing rebels who have seized a good chunk of northern Syria, there are likely plenty of hard feelings there already.