U.S. Patriot Missiles to Deploy in Turkey

News Brief – Dec 14, 2012

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has authorised the deployment of two Patriot air-defense missile batteries to Turkey, Reuters reports. The missiles are intended to bolster air Turkish defenses against Syria.
­Up to 400 American servicemen will be sent to Turkey to man the missile batteries.
The deployment comes despite Russia’s strong reservations over stationing the Patriot missiles in Turkey.
Earlier Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov said that the deployment of the Patriot missiles could only lead to further regional destabilisation.
Citing Russian playwrite Chekhov, Lavrov told reporters in November:
“Our concerns are rooted in the ‘Chekhov’s gun syndrome’ that says that if a gun appears on stage in the first act it will definitely fire by the third”.
Germany’s Bundestag has also authorised the deployment of the country’s Patriot missile systems in Turkey.
The decision to deploy German Patriots in Turkey comes as the Netherlands also approved the deployment of Dutch Patriot missile systems in the country.
An estimated 360 Dutch troops will accompany the Patriots when they are fielded in southern Turkey, close to the border with Syria.
Both the German and Dutch Patriot missile batteries are expected to be sent to Turkey early in 2013.
Meanwhile Syria has described the decision to deploy the missiles close to its border as “provocative”.
The deployment of so many Patriot missile batteries so close to Syria is seen by some observers as the first step toward the imposition of a ‘no-fly zone’ over the country, just as once had been done over Iraq. And we all know where that ultimately led.
Certainly, the missile’s deployment would seem to indicate that NATO has plans for deeper involvement in the escalating Syrian conflict.
However, whether the Patriots are ever actually deployed remains to be seen. If only because other factors could intervene and prevent the missile’s deployment overlooking Syrian airspace.
Somehow, with December 21 looming we don’t think the Patriots will ever be deployed.

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