Wednesday, January 23, 2013

German and Dutch Patriots in Turkey: Defensive, Offensive or Symbolic?

German and Dutch Patriot missiles have arrived in Turkey as part of a NATO mission to bolster Turkish air defenses against a possible missile attack from Syria. This follows the arrival of US Patriot missiles in January, and the integrated deployment under NATO’s command is expected to be up and running by early February.

The fear in Ankara has been that the Syrian regime may arm its long-range Russian-made Scud missiles with chemical warheads and set them on Turkey in a final, desperate act. Turkish President Abdullah Gul was the first to warn against this possibility in an interview with the Financial Times in November.