4 January 2013, 15:00

US military arrive in Turkey for deployment of Patriot missiles

US military arrive in Turkey for deployment of Patriot missiles

A 27-member group of US military has arrived in Turkey to oversee the deployment of Patriot air defense systems on the Turkish-Syrian border.

The US servicemen, who arrived in the southern city of Gaziantep on Thursday, will monitor the deployment of Patriot batteries and guarantee their security.

Turkey filed a request with NATO for Patriot missiles o secure protection against possible air attacks from Syria.

The first Patriot systems were delivered to Turkey in the middle of December.

A total of six Patriot batteries will be deployed on the territory of Turkey.

NATO pitting Turkey against neighbours

“By following the lead of the West, we are widening the split between us and our neighbours,” Turkey’s Saadet Party deputy chair Birol Aydin has told the Voice of Russia.

According to Mr. Aydin, it was a NATO’s initiative to deploy elements of the European missile shield in Turkey and to pull Patriot missile systems to Syria’s northern border.

All of that wasn’t proposed by Turkey, the pundit said, claiming the North Atlantic alliance made Ankara seek the deployment of Patriot missiles on its turf.

Fatih Evyapan from the Anatolian Youth Association shares his viewpoint. He believes the West is pitting Turkey against its neighbours, Syria and Iran. For that purpose, the NATO is creating its military infrastructure in Turkey, including a radar system in Malatya and Patriot missiles on the Turkish-Syria border. Their deployment means a direct intrusion into neighbouring Syria, he said.

Mr. Evyapan pointed out that the West had recently triggered a war between Iran and Iraq and was bending every effort to fan a similar conflict between Iran and Turkey.

People in Turkey’s Gaziantep province unhappy over deployment of “Patriot” missile systems

Residents of the Turkish province of Gaziantep bordering with Syria are unhappy over the deployment of the “Patriot” missile systems on their territory, editor-in-chief of the daily Gaziantep Express Halil Zor said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.

Concerning the sentiment of the local people, he explained that many of them are related to Syrians who live on the other side of the border and are worried over the situation.

Businessmen are also worried by the situation because after the conflict broke out, their businesses have been severely affected, Halil added.

Meanwhile, several public organizations in Turkey have spoken out against the deployment of the “Patriot” missile systems.

Voice of Russia, RIA

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