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The Coming Unknown For NATO’s Policy on Syria

Jean-Loup Samaan writes that NATO’s role in Syria is likely to remain limited, and that preserving the infrastructure of the country is essential to prevent a collapse of state authority.
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) walks past the Patriot system as she meets with troops from a German NATO  Patriot missile battery at a Turkish military base in Kahramanmaras February 24, 2013.  China and Russia are increasingly realizing that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's time is up,  Merkel said on Sunday, as she visited German troops stationed with NATO Patriot missiles close to the Turkish-Syrian frontier. REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY  - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) - RTR3E7WR

German, Dutch and Turkish defense ministers gathered for a joint visit [Feb. 23] to NATO Patriot batteries deployed to Turkey that had been declared fully operational two weeks earlier. Ismet Yilmaz, Turkey’s defense minister, took the occasion to “thank [his] fellow ministers from Germany and the Netherlands for their important contribution.”

This event marked the final step in a NATO build-up that had been scrutinized in the last months by all the stakeholders of the Syrian conflict. It was then followed two days later by the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Turkey, a trip that included a meeting with NATO German Patriot missile batteries' troops.

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