Turkey asks NATO to deploy Patriot missiles, citing threats from Syria crisis
Patriot missile being launched
November 21st, 2012
02:07 PM ET

Turkey asks NATO to deploy Patriot missiles, citing threats from Syria crisis

From Ivan Watson

In a potential escalation of the Syrian conflict, Turkey asked NATO on Wednesday for Patriot missiles to bolster its air defenses against its southern neighbor.

A letter to NATO included the "formal request" that the alliance send "air defense elements," according to a Turkish government statement that cited "the threats and risks posed by the continuing crisis in Syria to our national security."

The statement added that the NATO Council would convene "shortly" to consider the matter.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a Twitter post that the request would be considered without delay.

In a statement on Wednesday, Rasmussen said the letter from Turkey requested Patriot missiles that would "contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along NATO's south-eastern border" and serve as "a concrete demonstration of alliance solidarity and resolve."

Rasmussen's statement said three NATO countries have available Patriot missiles - Germany, the Netherlands and the United States - and it would be up to them to decide if they can deploy them and for how long.

A NATO team will visit Turkey next week to survey possible deployment sites for the Patriot missiles, Rasmussen's statement said.

Sources told CNN that Germany would be the likely source for a deployment. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that any decision involving her country would need the approval of Parliament.

In Turkey, Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said NATO forces under the command of the alliance would come to Turkey as part of the missile deployment. He noted that NATO-supplied Patriot missiles previously were deployed in Turkey in 1991 and 2003.

"It's not as if they are going to come tomorrow to be deployed," Unal said, calling the move a precautionary measure that will deter escalation along the Syrian border.

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Filed under: NATO • Rasmussen • Syria • Turkey • weapons
soundoff (96 Responses)
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  5. Acier

    I said lets cut this bs .Turkey need to be stay away NATO they are not going to help Turkey anyway lets face it big lie.Turkey need to be allia with Russia

    December 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  6. Ferit

    oh please, a bloodbath was prevented in libya. don't try to change history.

    November 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  7. rightospeak

    Rasmussen is a war criminal and needs to be prosecuted for war crimes in Libya. Now he wants to turn Syria into Libya, but the Russians and the Chinese are not going to let him get away with it. What does this have to do with defense of E.U. ? Syria is a threat ?
    The Imperial Press is trying to brainwash the American public so the Middle East is terrorized in favor of Israel.

    November 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • Seriously

      Deploying Patriot missiles would be a defensive action. Apperently,you here missile and immediately think it's to attack the Syrians. Do your research.

      November 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
      • Seriously


        November 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  8. think tank

    it is not because of Syria that they want to setup patriot missiles in turkey. this is in preparation for war with Iran. it is imminent.

    November 23, 2012 at 3:38 am | Reply
  9. NickD

    In that turkey is a part of NATO ant that Turkey is the border nation against fanatical muslim extremism, NATO needs to help tturkey where ever it and how ever it can.

    The turks are a tough breed. If it ever truly hits the fan in the middle east NATO needs Turkey on their side, not the other. besides there is little love between the Persians and the Ottomans. Americans cannot remember what happened six months ago, the peoples of this region remember and hold grudges about what happened over the last 6000 years.

    November 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  10. The Inconvenient Truth

    The word genocide was first used to describe the mass murder of over 1 million Christians by turkish muslims toward the end of WWI. These unarmed men, women, and children were murdered simply because they were Christians who were Greeks or Armenians. It was german influence that persuaded the turks to commit this genocide. Hundreds of thousands of eye witnesses confirm these facts. Yet to this day Turkey lives in denial of its murderous history. Even germany, who is responsible for the murder of over 6 million people, has admitted to its murderous history. However, in turkey to this very day it is illegal to refer to the mass murder of Greek and Armenian Christians as genocide. Turks can't face the inconvenient truth they have blood on their hands. Until they do, they will be denied everything. Give the turks missiles? Absolutely not! Now you know the strange link between turkey and germany: partners in murdering unarmed people.

    November 22, 2012 at 7:00 am | Reply
    • Erks

      During the break up of the ottoman empire, millions of muslims in the black sea region were ethnically cleansed by the russians (friends of the Armenian). They were the circassians and the laz, and the survivors fled to anatolia. The same thing happened to the muslims in the Balkans, after the empire lost teritory in the Balkan wars – millions were killed or forced to flee. Then we come to the Armenians revolting against the empire, and the russians advancing into Anatolia and allied with the Armenians. The root cause for these sad events was the rise of nationalism and birth of nation states in the late 19th century, and of course imperialism – European powers fueling revolt amongst minorities to break up the ottoman empire, and grab teritory for themselves (Exactly what happened in the arab speaking parts of the empire – with brits, french, italians etc carving up the arab lands, and creating the modern borders we see today.). If you want to learn about history, then pick up some books. If you want to spew nationalistic propaganda and bs, go right ahead. Ask yourself, how come the turks didnt go after the jewish community, which was also a large non muslim community. It is because the european powers were not able to fuel revolt among them, and they had no interest in carving a Jewish state in Anatolia.

      November 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
      • pat

        You are revising history and ignoring so much with this lame statement. It is not accurate, and you know it
        is not accurate, and so deal with the truth behind the facade. Give up your biases, is your life ever going to begin?

        November 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
      • Ferit

        haha somebody gets upset when their ethnic cleansing is pointed out.

        November 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  11. Observer

    The ignorance I see in some of these posts is appalling. Turkey is a NATO member. This isn't some random stranger asking for a favor. This is an ally asking for help. There is no compelling reason to deny their request for protective anti-missile batteries.

    November 22, 2012 at 6:21 am | Reply
  12. jamessavik

    Turkey knows that Syria has chemical weapons and has put itself in the cross-hairs by allowing rebels to move back and forth across the border.

    November 22, 2012 at 6:02 am | Reply
  13. cheeseroll

    Turkey does not deserve NATO help here. They arm and give provisions to Syrian rebels, allow them to conduct cross-border raids from Turkish territory, then cry foul when Syrian attacks cross the border.

    Turkey is evidently trying to provoke a wider conflict here, and the NATO fools in Brussels should not be so stupid as to fall for these these fifth-column actions by Turkey. Intervening in a conflict that Turkey provoked is simply bad for business and legitimacy.

    November 22, 2012 at 5:03 am | Reply
    • Leif

      Turkey did not provoke the Syrian crisis. The Assad family did by suppressing the Syrian people. Turkey is a member of NATO. NATIO should and will honor its obligations to a NATO member.

      November 22, 2012 at 5:08 am | Reply
    • LT Fang

      Turkey is just doing humanity's work by arming anti-Assad rebels.

      November 22, 2012 at 5:19 am | Reply
    • Ferit

      NATO did more in the Libya crisis, which wasn't very different. I guess you agreed with it, but your hate of muslims now makes you call foul when Turkey helps the rebels.

      November 22, 2012 at 5:23 am | Reply
    • Zoop

      Um, Tukey _is_ NATO. We are legaly obligated to help them. Collective defence in part caused the first World War, but it also held up throughout the Cold War. We must give them what they need.

      November 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • MKultra

        And they will push us to another war.you will see.arming rebels was good but know they are out of control.they are killing civilians.we should stop arming rebels.they are turning into terrorists.

        November 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • currieken@msn.com

      News today is that Russia has warned the Turks against such a deployment. The real Russian concern here is that the Patriot Pac-3 has an ABM capability, not concern on the Russians' part about the threat to Syrian "stability." The Great Game continues.

      November 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  14. stan

    Seems from some of the posts here people they forget that under Nato if one member is attack it's an attack on all, and all are suppose to assist tbat country....Those comments about giving the stuff to others is non-sense, and come from those so called experts that show up on these blogs all the time and don't know beans...I say let them have them till the shooting stops, we can always get them back....

    November 22, 2012 at 3:53 am | Reply
  15. jimsock

    I'm not convinced....unless they start making Turkish Taffee again.

    November 22, 2012 at 2:32 am | Reply
  16. resnagovs

    Look, there are two options – either we roast it or cook it in the pot. The other options including missiles concerning turkey are just plain crazy.

    November 22, 2012 at 2:02 am | Reply
  17. resnagovs

    When I look at old maps I see Armenia name on where it's Turkey now. I wonder why!?

    November 22, 2012 at 1:56 am | Reply
    • Ferit

      and turkey (or ottoman empire) where armenia is now in later maps. so who should get what back?

      November 22, 2012 at 5:26 am | Reply
  18. Jeff Stein

    Turkish people should get whatever they want from us.

    November 22, 2012 at 1:00 am | Reply
  19. Stillblazin420

    I didn't know that NATO had a Southeastern boarder!!

    November 22, 2012 at 12:38 am | Reply
    • Jules

      Only for the last 60 years or so.

      November 22, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • Max

      This is just a way to describe Turkey's border considering that all the countries that are members of NATO form a single unit or country and turkey' s borders are a border of NATO

      November 22, 2012 at 1:47 am | Reply
  20. Mike

    Without Turkey, there would be no NATO. We armed this major cold war ally with Jupiter ICBMs back in the 60's as a deterrent and no they didn't give that tech to Islamic Extremists. I would kick Greece out of NATO before I kick out Turkey. So in honor of Turkey day, those of you that don't know, open up a history book, or as someone posted earlier, buy a ticket to Turkey and go learn something.

    November 22, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
    • Alex

      Well said Mike.

      November 22, 2012 at 12:29 am | Reply
  21. Alex

    For those who complain that Turkey is using the American taxpayer money!. Turkey has suffered billions of dollars in trade damages since America first invaded Iraq, one of Turkey's neighbor. Turkey shut its Iraqi border to support America which cost Turkey billions of dollars. Joined the embargo on Iraq and Iran, another neighbor. Turkey has had to put up with the North Iraq Kurds because of the American interests. Turkey has sent troops to Afghanistan for no reason. Turkey has served to the interests of America big time. Now you are whining that Turkey just asked for couple of half ass Patriot missile defense systems? Also, Turkey contributes to NATO financially.

    November 22, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
    • BigShiz

      It's not like Turkey has killed hundreds of thousands of Kurds in the last forty years,oh wait a sec.

      November 22, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
      • Alex

        That is right. Turkey killed thousands of Kurdish terrorists because they killed Kurdish and Turkish civilians. Did this annoy you?

        November 22, 2012 at 12:31 am |
      • john

        Turkey does not attack kurdish population. They are also protecting the country agains terorist organisation called PKK. Supported by "they know by who". Turkey has been protecting its border 35 years will do 100 more agains terorists

        Go Turkey fully support from me

        November 22, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • deathstalker187

      Any country that is a NATO member should get help from NATO especially for defense. Not everyone think we should not help Turkey with this issue most are clueless.

      November 22, 2012 at 12:18 am | Reply
    • resnagovs

      Why don't you just call them (Kurds) freedom fighters just as FSA? What? Oh, Turkey is a democracy? Ok, so that's ok to kill Kurds, their terrorist children and women too. Ok.

      November 22, 2012 at 1:50 am | Reply
  22. JUsticForAll

    Turkey should not be part of NATO. They are run by a fascist Islamic party who has jailed more journalist than any other country except China..

    November 21, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  23. Lagos

    If the world worked the way it should:
    NATO to Turkey: Sure! Pay us for them.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Reply
    • resnagovs

      I don't get it. We send billions of dollars to our only friend in the world Israel and now we are going to get stingy on Turkey? Just befor Thanksgiving?! Oh, no, send them all the missiles we've got and a golden turkey on a platter.

      November 22, 2012 at 1:53 am | Reply
      • ADAM4X4

        Israeli might be your friend and the friend of US politicians who want Jewish support and money but they are are no friend to the American people. Remember the USS Liberty!

        November 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Ferit

      FYI: turkey is a paying member of NATO.

      November 22, 2012 at 5:32 am | Reply
  24. Sam Cunningham

    Turkey is acting how a civil country would act. They don't want to deal with the mess in the neighboring country especially when no one else is bothering to intervene. They have enough refugees already and Syrians keep intruding their airspace. They kindly asked NATO to provide support as they are part of NATO. This is what NATO is supposed to be for.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      Thumbs up for your comment.

      November 22, 2012 at 12:32 am | Reply
    • matt

      i agree, we should support turkey.
      but patriots aren't free. i suggest (not to pick an arbitrary number or anything), that we ask for the exact same dollar amount they wanted from us for the use of their airspace prior to the iraqi invasion. Airspace that would have been used for flying wounded soldiers out (to ramstein).

      November 22, 2012 at 1:41 am | Reply
  25. sam

    don't knock the Turks they are probably the best allied that the US have, they certainly was in Korea, i was there

    November 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Reply
    • Ferit

      thanks for being a good history witness Sam.

      November 22, 2012 at 5:33 am | Reply
    • biff mcguzzle

      Don't ever play cards for money with a Turk. They are good and when they are not, they cheat. I could never beat those guys!

      November 22, 2012 at 6:54 am | Reply
  26. pat

    Turkey needs to come to terms with its past, it needs to learn manners and civility, and it needs to stay away from the Syrian problem on the diplomatic front. Egypt is a much more capable nation to assist here.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Reply
    • Sam Cunningham

      Patty boy, you have no idea what you are talking about...

      November 21, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
    • mark wells

      Pat, look at a map. Turkey is north of Syria. Egypt is south of Israel. Turkey has missiles coming over their border. The only way to stop those missiles is to put anti-missile batteries inside Turkey. Egypt couldn't possibly shoot down a missle on it's way from Syria to Turkey. You Turkey 🙂

      November 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
      • pat

        typical...you are on the war machine band wagon....kill kill kill.
        Egypt has credibility because Turkey is on the outs with Israel, and therefore would not be effective as a player
        in trying to achieve peace. Stop thinking of killing people and understand geo politics a bit more.

        November 22, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • The_CIA

      Egypt can hardly take care of themselves at this point. And Egypt has never been or will ever be part of NATO.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  27. KEVIN

    I knew Turkey was going to get overwhelmed by Syrian refugees and become angry and desperate. I have no answer for them.

    November 21, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  28. Johnb

    You guys are making mistake here about Turkey. Ask Vietnam/Korean/Gulf war vets, they will tell you how they helped in those wars. REsearch it on the Internet and you'll find the info. The same can not be sayed about some other countries who our politicians are calling "the best allias."

    November 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Reply
    • The_CIA

      But, they sure were not much help in the Iraq war. They wouldn't even let the US troops travel through their country or their supplies to get to Iraq. No Patriots for the Turkeys.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Reply
      • Alex

        The CIA. You reflect your ex-boss Petreaus' ignorance.

        November 22, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  29. Jim Weix

    The Syrian conflict needs to come to an end. The Syrian government must be destroyed.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Reply
    • resnagovs

      Well give me that nice geopolitical reason why?

      November 22, 2012 at 2:08 am | Reply
    • biff mcguzzle

      Why do we come running to change Israel's diaper every time they load it up when we won't help the Syrians survive against a ruthless dictator? Israel needs to accept the fact that they are surrounded and outnumbered. Yes, they are the targets of terrorist attacks but they need to find a way to grasp reality and pursue peace. And the non terrorist Arabs in that region need to step up to the plate and police those fanatics. Turkey has been as good an ally as any country in the Middle East. They should get what they need to protect themselves. By the way, what has Israel ever done for us? We didn't back Ireland in their fight for sovereignty, why is Israel such a sacred cow with our support even when they are heavy handed with their neighbors ? I don't know everything so tell me where and if I am wrong.

      November 22, 2012 at 7:07 am | Reply
  30. JimG

    Patriot systems are constantly updated and are not "old" technology.
    If deployed to Turkey, they will be manned and maintained by the owners, not Turkey.
    Turkey is NATO...this is how NATO works....we've got an air base in Turkey...they are our allies.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Reply
    • CHUCK

      I will have NATO tomorrow with stuffing

      November 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Reply
      • Sam Cunningham

        and I will go to chucky e cheese tomorrow

        November 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  31. GaryGuillermo

    Are they going to pay for it? or is this billed to the American taxpayers?

    November 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Reply
    • Won

      Everyone contributes their military expertise/equipment to NATO, and they must allocate fundings for it.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
      • john/kc

        So the USA taxpayer will end up paying the majority of the NATO bill as usual. These war expenses are killing us. I guess all Americans are supposed to do without so we can defend countries thousands of miles away. Who is defending us?

        November 21, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
      • The_CIA

        john/kc said "Who is defending us?"

        Evidently it isn't you john/kc.

        November 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Alex

      Yes Turkey contributes to Nato financially. Will America pay for the damages incurred by its invasion of Iraq? Turkey lost billions because of it

      November 22, 2012 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • David In NC

      Are you another one of those tea party idiots?

      November 22, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • David In NC

      Next thing you will do Gary is try to succeed from the union because people refused to back the tea party.

      November 22, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
  32. Larry L

    No weapon system remains "old tech" very long. It's in the best interests of the weapon's designer to introduce upgrades and improvements on a regular basis. The Patriot of yesterday is much less effective than today's weapon – the same is true of aircraft.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  33. Nunya Bidness

    Patriot Missile is old tech. Iran has our old tech. 30 year old tech. F-14A's with their AWG-9 radar being used for early detection and FAC, like our own J-STARS and AWACS. Let Turkey have them. Let them give out the tech. It won't help anyone at all.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  34. brown

    uummm ... Turkey has been a reliable and trustworthy MEMBER of NATO for sixty years. Since when do Americans
    berate a country for standing up to tyranny? Open your eyes, or better yet, buy a plane ticket and go to the Middle East
    – not the tourist traps – and see for yourself what our little friend Israel is doing with the outrageous sums of money YOU
    provide them. Go see for yourself !

    November 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      Agree. Even a cursory look at the map of the region could identify the strategic position of Turkey. As a truly moderate Islamic nation, Turkey serves as a model of success for the U.S. when dealing with Mid-Eastern states. We've had air bases and missile sites in Turkey for many years. It's time for us to show them the support they deserve.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
    • john/kc

      Thats funny, I remember when we went to war with Iraq the first time. We put a division of troops in Turkey, but Turkey would not give permission for them to cross their border into Iraq.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Reply
    • Ferit

      thanks for telling it as it is

      November 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  35. rainman

    Tell them to ask their friends in Hamas, Egypt and Iran to help them as they seem to want to cosy up to them rather than the rest of the free world. After the words from the president of Turkey they should be treated with contempt.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  36. itsy_bitsy

    If Turkey gets their hands on the Patriot Missile System they will give the technology to Hamas, Syria and Iran! Turkey can no longer be trusted as an ally of the west. They seem to be slipping into the arms of radical Islam rapidly! Get them out of NATO!

    November 21, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      Wake up! Turkey is a moderate Islamic nation and a long-term ally. If you'd ever been to the Gaza strip you'd see how useless "technology" would be to Hamas. Do you think they'd energize their version of Silicon Valley and duplicate the micro-technology? Gaza is a geographical prison surrounded by Israel, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt). We can't reject a nation as a worthy ally because they aren't white and Christian. Nazi Germany was both white and Christina!

      November 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  37. clownalley

    threse guys are providing support to al qaeda at the behest of the americans to destabilize the syrian government and install a puppet government to be run by washington and now to generate more money for the arms makers we re supposed to give them the big kids toys.are the american people oblivious to whats happening here ?

    November 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  38. THE G MAN


    November 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  39. reddogchecker

    i would do it after they denouce all actions by hamas , and declare hamas a terrorist organization. and if the patriots are there that they be manned by UN troops in enough concentration to protect the missles from being taken by turkey.

    November 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      Why would you suggest UN troops when it is a request of NATO?

      November 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • Larry L

        Because the person has absolutely no concept of the situation and this communications device has no filter for ignorance.

        November 21, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • abe

      Yeah why UN? Nato should monitor the Patriots missiles, i understand Turkey is a Nato alliance but if they friends with Teriorist organisiation Hamas or Iran you can't fully trust them.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Reply
      • Sam Cunningham

        Abe, who says Turks are friends with terrorist groups? Where do you get your facts from?

        November 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm |

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