No request from Turkey to deploy Patriot missiles yet: NATO official

November 9, 2012 6:32 am 

BRUSSELS, Nov. 9 — A NATO official said on Thursday that the military alliance had not received any request from Turkey to deploy Patriot missiles along its border with Syria.

"NATO has not been aware of any Turkish request for Patriot missiles. As NATO Secretary General said on Monday, allies will consider any request made to the North Atlantic Council. But we haven't received anything," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The official said that the comments from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu were contradicting each other, so "it is better to ask Turks what they have in mind."

Davutoglu said on Wednesday that NATO was preparing to deploy Patriot missiles on his country's soil, and a senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official said Turkey planned to make an "imminent" request to NATO. However, Erdogan denied the news later.

Tensions between Turkey and neighboring Syria soared in early October when shells coming from Syria landed in Turkish border towns, which drew Turkish reprisals.

During the first and second Iraq wars, Turkey had requested twice to NATO for the deployment of Patriot missiles. In both cases, deployments were carried out by the Netherlands. (PNA/Xinhua)

CTB/RSM

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