Russia: missile deployment at Syria-Turkey border would be 'alarming

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  1. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Lavrov: Patriot missile deployment in Turkey will lead to further regional destabilization[/SIZE]



    "Anders Fogh Rasmussen informed [Lavrov] about the situation related to Turkey's request that NATO deploy Patriot air defense missiles on its territory. Lavrov reiterated Russia's concerns about the plans to step up the military potential in the region and the proposal on establishing a direct communication line between Ankara and Damascus to avoid incidents," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement it published on its website following the conversation.


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    Patriot anti-missile batteries installed at the Diyarbakir military airport in southeastern Turkey (AFP Photo / Mehdi Fedouach


    The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed strong reservations after Ankara said it would request that NATO deploy Patriot missiles along the Turkey-Syria border.

    Lavrov iterated Russia's concerns about plans to deploy Patriot missile systems on Turkish territory in a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

    Earlier, Lavrov used a theatrical metaphor to drive home Russia's concern over the increased militarization of the region.

    "Our concerns are rooted in the 'Chekhov’s gun syndrome’ that says that if a gun appears on stage in the first act it will definitely fire by the third," he said.

    The emergence of weapons at a time when attempts are being made to resolve a conflict creates risks – not necessarily due to the scenario, but because any stockpile of weapons naturally creates threats, he explained.

    "Any provocation may trigger a very serious armed conflict. We want to avoid this," he said.

    The minister stressed that Moscow understands Turkey's concerns about the situation on its border with Syria, where clashes between Syrian government forces and the opposition are everyday occurrences, and refugees continue to stream into Turkey.

    "All this incites tensions even in the absence of air defense missile systems," Lavrov said.

    Earlier, the Foreign Ministry expressed strong reservations over Turkey's request for Patriot missiles on its territory.

    "Militarization of the Syrian-Turkish border is an alarming signal,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said during a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.

    The diplomat advised Turkey to instead promote dialogue between Damascus and the Syrian opposition.

    “We have a different recommendation for our Turkish colleagues: They should use their influence on the Syrian opposition to promote the soonest beginning of the inter-Syrian dialogue," he said.

    For the last 20 months, Syria has experienced a protracted conflict between a rebel opposition and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad. Some of this violence has spilled over into Turkish territory.

    In October, Turkey fired artillery into Syria after stray shells from the conflict hit the Turkish border town of Akcakale, killing five civilians.

    Moscow, which has actively engaged both the Syrian government and opposition in an effort to promote peace talks, is increasingly concerned that violence along the Turkey-Syria border may escalate and consume the region.

    The ministry spokesman strongly advised Turkey against “building muscle or putting the situation on such a dangerous track."

    NATO, the Western military alliance of which Turkey is a member, called Russia’s objections to the proposed Patriot missile installations “unjustified.”

    Speaking in Zurich on Thursday,NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen played down Russian concerns, saying that Patriot missile installations in Turkey would be “purely defensive.”

    NATO officials will visit Turkey next week to conduct a “site survey for the possible deployment of the US-built Patriots,” Rasmussen said.

    Germany and the Netherlands both agreed to send Patriot missile batteries to Turkey if the request received the support of their respective legislators.

    NATO previously provided Ankara with Patriot missile systems in 1991 and 2003 during both Iraq wars. The systems were removed after the conflicts ended.

    Moscow and Washington have recently seen a rise in tensions over NATO efforts to install a US missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Russia has warned that a unilateral push on the matter could lead to “another arms race.”

    The Patriot surface-to-air missile, which can be used to defend against medium- and short-range ballistic missiles, has a maximum range of about 160 kilometers (100 miles).


    Lavrov: Patriot missile deployment in Turkey will lead to further regional destabilization — RT
     
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  3. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Re: Russia: missile deployment at Syria-Turkey border would be 'alarmi

    NATO confirms receiving Turkey's Patriot missile request[/SIZE]



    NATO has confirmed that it received a request from Ankara to deploy Patriot missiles on Turkish territory. The coalition said it would process the appeal soon.
    “I have received Turkey's request for NATO to deploy Patriot missiles. Allies will discuss this without delay,”NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said via his Twitter account.


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    The situation along the Syrian-Turkish border is of great concern," Rasmussen said earlier at a meeting with the European Union's foreign and defense ministers. "We have all plans in place to defend and protect Turkey if needed."

    The confirmation comes two weeks after Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that he had requested that NATO install the surface-to-air missiles near the Turkish border with Syria. Prime Minster Recip Tayyip Erdogan later denied that Turkey had made such a request.

    Davutoglu said that the missiles were needed to bolster defenses on its border with Syria. The surface-to-air missiles will be able to shoot down aircraft up to 160 kilometers away.

    The Patriot is a long-range, all-weather and all-altitude defense system capable of countering tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.

    Within NATO only the United States, the Netherlands and Germany have Patriot missile systems available.

    Reports say Germany has already spoken in favor of the request. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, that he ordered the German Ambassador to Turkey “to positively receive such a request.”

    “It would be a serious mistake if we were to refuse defensive support to a NATO member country in a moment when this member country feels that it is exposed to attacks from outside,” he said.

    NATO installed Patriot systems by Turkish request two times, during the first and second Iraq wars in 1991 and 2003. The systems, however, went unused and were removed from the country shortly after the wars. In both cases the deployment was carried out by the Netherlands.


    NATO confirms receiving Turkey's Patriot missile request — RT
     

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