USA Patriot missile

Washington studies deploying Patriot missiles on the Turkish border with Syria

Turkey has requested the deployment of Patriot missiles along its border with Syria in the face of war escalation in the region, and because of the real threat of a missile attack by the Assad regime.

The Turkish government acknowledged on Thursday that Washington is studying its request to deploy Patriot missiles on its border with Syria in the face of escalating tension in the Syrian province of Idlib, and especially following Ankara’s decision to retaliate against the Assad regime’s attacks, that have already killed more than a dozen Turkish soldiers.

“There is a threat of air attacks and missiles against our country,” admitted Turkey’s Defense minister and former head of the Armed Forces, Hulusi Akar, during an interview with private news network CNN Türk. “There could be support with the Patriot,” he added. Currently NATO has only deployed a Patriot battery commanded by Spain at the İncirlik air base in the south of the country, although until 2015 it had five.

Akar, however, ruled out that the United States, which has shown its support for Turkey following the recent attacks by the Assad regime against Turkish soldiers in Syria, is going to provide assistance by sending troops. The minister also took the opportunity to criticize the alliance between the US. and the YPG, considered as the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist group and that the White House saw for years as its main ally in Syria in the fight against the Daesh.

The United States has to choose between Turkey, or the terrorists

“On the one hand there is Turkey, an ally of NATO for decades and a strategic partner (for the United States); on the other, the terrorists of the YPG / PKK … The United States has to choose (one side),” he insisted. Akar also criticized the U.S. decision to expel Turkey from the F-35 fighter project for its decision to acquire S-400 anti-ballistic missiles from Russia.

In this regard, the Turkish Defense Minister wanted to underline the strategic importance that Turkey has within NATO, where the Eurasian country has the second most powerful army surpassed only by the United States. “Turkey has greater power and operational capacity than 30 NATO countries,” he said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan warned this week that negotiations between Turkey and Russia to stop the fire in the Syrian province of Idlib and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe are not meeting Ankara’s expectations, so a Turkish military operation in Syria is “a matter of time,” and recalled that Turkey has given an ultimatum to Assad to withdraw his forces before the end of February to its original positions in Idlib.