NATO To Deploy Patriot Missiles In Turkey, Warns Syria Over Use Of Chemical Weapons
By Maya Shwayder | December 5, 2012 8:03 AM EST
NATO announced on Tuesday that they had agreed to deploy Patriot missiles in Turkey.
Emerging from a meeting with Russian officials, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the press they had discussed Turkey's request "to help defend the population and territory of Turkey and help de-escalate the crisis along NATO's border.
"NATO's decision is clear: any deployment would be to protect Turkey. It will be purely defensive in nature. It will in no-way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation.
"It is a clear signal of NATO solidarity," Rasmussen said.
There are so far no numbers available on how many missiles will be sent to Turkey. Today's Zaman, a Turkish daily, said that Turkish ministers were seeking between ten and 20 missiles, but the Hürriyet Daily News said it was likely only three of four systems would be availablre because "the missile threat from Syria was not big enough to substantiate such a deployment."
Rasmussen also threw his voice into the growing chorus that includes U.S. President Barack Obama and the French Foreign Ministry, warning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that any use of chemical weapons by the government would lead to dire consequences.
"The Syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons are a matter of great concern," Rasmussen said. "The possible use of chemical weapons would be completely unacceptable to the whole international community and and I would expect an immediate reaction from the international community."
The Syrian government has flatly denied it has even considered using chemical weapons, but U.S. officials say there are "worrying signs" otherwise, CNN reported.
One U.S. official said that intelligence obtained over the weekend showed Syrian forces had started to combine chemicals to make sarin gas, a colorless, odorless nerve agent that can be used to fill artillery shells. Sarin is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the U.N.
As of Monday, almost 200 more people were killed in the fighting in Syria, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Lunch with the Gods: Pope Francis Eats with Vatican Workers in Cafeteria
- Celebrities Suffering From Lupus: Facts About the Disease
Join the Conversation
- ACT Party's Demand to Re Consider Maoris Privileges Evokes Reprimand
- Opinion Poll in New Zealand Shows National Party Far Ahead in Popular Support
- “Women should not laugh in public” - Turkish Deputy PM says
- Iran Leader Asks Muslims to Supply Arms to Palestine, Calls Israel ‘Rapacious Wolf’
- Canada Claims Good Progress in EU Trade Pact Despite Germany’s Defiant Postures
- These 2 Questions Reveal if You Unwittingly Abuse Alcohol
- Jennifer Lopez and Her Wild 45th Birthday Party: How JLo’s Life-Size Birthday Cake from SamiCakes Boutique Was Made
- Blake Griffin’s Back Injury Is the Reason for His Withdrawal from Team U.S.A.
- Supernatural Season 10 Spoilers: Metatron Capable of Saving Castiel's Fading Grace
- Anderson Silva To Test the Octagon Anew After Freak Leg Injury, To Fight Nick Diaz in 2015