The Turkish capital swiftly welcomed Dec. 4 NATO’s approval of Turkey’s request for Patriot missiles to defend its border against Syria, while reiterating that the weapons were solely for defensive purposes.
“Turkey welcomes this decision by the NATO foreign ministers, which was taken as a consequence of the consultation process initiated by the North Atlantic Council meetings on June 26 and Oct. 3 upon our request within the framework of Article IV of the North Atlantic Treaty. This decision is important, as it demonstrates and reconfirms allied solidarity and unity in practical terms,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement released late Dec. 4, shortly after the 28-nation alliance foreign ministers took the decision at a meeting in Brussels.
“The measures to be taken are in no way offensive. These measures are defensive and aim to augment our national air defense. These defensive measures have nothing to do with the establishment of a no-fly-zone. The locations in which these assets will be deployed are determined in light of the necessary military-technical analysis,” the ministry said.
“Turkey will continue the initiatives it has been undertaking with a view to solve the Syrian crisis through peaceful ways, with the same resolve as before.”