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Russia warns Turkey over NATO missiles along Syrian border

Posted by seumasach on November 22, 2012


22nd November, 2012

Russia has warned Turkey against the deployment of NATO surface-to-air Patriot missiles near the Syrian border, saying Ankara should instead use its sway to restore calm in the conflict-stricken Arab country.

“The militarization of the Syrian-Turkish border is of course a worrying sign,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

Instead of “flexing muscles and placing the situation on a dangerous course,” Lukashevich added, Turkey should use its influence with the opposition groups to help the two sides in the Syrian conflict start a dialogue as soon as possible.

Turkey has officially made its request to NATO for the deployment of Patriot systems along its Syrian border.

“Such steps clearly do not add optimism from the point of view of a political settlement,” Lukashevich stressed.

Ankara claims that the deployment would only be defensive and that it would not “support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation.”

“Our request has been formally raised through a letter, which we submitted today at NATO. The NATO Council will shortly convene to address our request,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement issued on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has underlined that the Western military alliance would discuss Turkey’s bid “without delay.”

Tensions are running high between Syria and Turkey, with Damascus accusing Ankara – along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar – of backing a deadly insurgency that has claimed the lives of many Syrians, including security and army personnel.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that Ankara “has supplied all logistic support to the terrorists who have killed our people.”

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