NATO approves Turkish Patriot SAM deployment
By Brooks Tigner
NATO leaders approved on 4 December the deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries to Turkey in response to fears of an overflow of the conflict in neighbouring Syria.
The deployment is expected in the coming weeks. A site survey by Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States - the three NATO countries that can supply Patriot SAMs - was concluded on 2 December and is expected to be used to decide the sites for the deployment.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the Patriot deployment is designed to protect Turkey against possible ballistic missile threats from Syria and is not designed to raise tensions. However, she and other allied officials have stated that this defensive posture would change if Syria were to use chemical weapons.
"I don't think this [deployment] would necessarily bring any greater tension to the tragedy unfolding within Syria," Clinton stated on 5 December. "Our concern is that an increasingly desperate regime might turn to chemical weapons or lose control of them to one of the many independent groups operating inside Syria."177 of 527 words
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