NATO deployed Patriot anti-missile batteries in Turkey during the 1991 Gulf war and in 2003 during the Iraqi conflict
Patriot anti-missile batteries were previously installed at the Diyarbakir military airport in southeastern Turkey. Turkey is expected to ask NATO to deploy Patriot anti-missile batteries along its border with Syria as European Union ministers explore ways of assisting Syria's new opposition coalition. © Mehdi Fedouach - AFP/File
NATO deployed Patriot anti-missile batteries in Turkey during the 1991 Gulf war and in 2003 during the Iraqi conflict
AFP
Last updated: November 20, 2012

Turkey seeks NATO Patriot missiles as soon as possible

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that NATO member Ankara would formally ask the alliance for Patriot missiles to protect its border with conflict-wracked Syria.

"(Patriots) are a precautionary measure, for defence in particular," Davutoglu told reporters before he left Ankara for Gaza. "We will submit the formal request as soon as possible."

Davutoglu's comments came a day after NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance had received no formal request from Turkey for the surface-to-air missiles, but they would consider it as "a matter of urgency" if one was made.

Davutoglu did not elaborate on the details of the Patriot deployment but he said Ankara was "in the last phase of talks" before the request went through.

Turkey's border villages have been hit by artillery fire from Syria as forces loyal to Damascus battle rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

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