A US soldier stands in front of a Patriot missile system at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep on February 5, 2013
A US soldier stands in front of a Patriot missile system at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep last month. Syrian opposition chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib says he has asked the United States to extend NATO's Patriot missile system to protect rebel-held areas in the north of the war-torn country. © Bulent Kilic - AFP/File
A US soldier stands in front of a Patriot missile system at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep on February 5, 2013
AFP
Last updated: March 26, 2013

Syrian rebels ask US for Patriot missile protection

Syrian opposition chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib said Tuesday he has asked the United States to extend NATO's Patriot missile system to protect rebel-held areas in the north of the war-torn country.

"I have asked (US Secretary of State) Mr John Kerry during our meeting to provide Patriot (missile protection) that encompasses northern Syria, and he has promised to look into the matter," said Khatib at an Arab summit in Doha, Qatar.

"We are still awaiting a decision from NATO on this matter."

NATO's sole involvement in Syria's brutal civil war to date has been to position Patriot missile batteries along the Turkish border in order to prevent any air or missile launches from the Syrian side.

"The United States has a bigger role" which it could play beyond offering humanitarian aid worth "$350 million," said Khatib.

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