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NATO Patriot Missiles Show Turkey's Military Weakness

Kadri Gursel writes that Turkey's request for NATO Patriot missiles reveals its lack of capacity and few other options to handle regional threats.
Soldiers of the German armed forces Bundeswehr stand next to a PAC-2 launcher of a "Patriot" missile battery during a media rehearsal in the north German village of Warbelow December 18, 2012. Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, last week approved the sending of two Patriot batteries and 400 soldiers to Turkey as part of a NATO plan to protect the country from any spread of the Syrian conflict. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (GERMANY - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CIVIL UNREST)
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Turkey, perceiving ballistic missile threat from Syria, called on NATO to deploy Patriot missile batteries on Turkish soil against this threat. NATO approved the Turkish request and decided to deploy six batteries, two each from the US, Germany and Netherlands, in Turkey close to the Syrian border.

After joint assessments made with the Turkish government, it was agreed to deploy the US Patriots at Gaziantep, the German batteries at Kahramanmaras and the Dutch ones at Adana. According to press reports, the Patriots will be operational in January. Adana, Turkey’s fourth largest city, is 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Syria border, where the important US-Turkish airbase at Incirlik is located. Gaziantep, an important industrial center with 1.5 million population is 60 km (37 miles) to the Syrian border. Kahramanmaras, the provincial capital with a population of half a million, is 150 km (93 miles) north of the border.

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