Is Turkey’s Patriot Missile Request Really About Iran?

Article Summary
Turkey says it wants the Patriot missile-defense system for protection against Syria, which poses no missile threat to Turkey, writes Fatih Altayi. He suggests the missiles are actually about Iran.

Patriot missiles are to be deployed along our southeastern border. The Patriot is a defensive weapons system. You cannot use it to fire at a target in a neighboring country. Its only mission is to intercept missiles fired at our country in the air. It is to defend our home. That is why we asked NATO to help.

Despite all the turbulence around us, we don’t have our own Patriots. Holland has them; we don’t. Nobody thought of acquiring them. We just ask for them when we need them. As usual, the German parliament dragged its feet, so we have to get them from Holland.

You may remember what I wrote about the Dutch missiles the last time they were here: Their computer systems were defective. They sent them to Turkey to see if they would work. Now we are getting them from Holland again. One hopes they have repaired their computers.

We are going to deploy the Patriots to defend ourselves, but look at the fury around us. Russia and Iran are saying we should not deploy the Patriots. Naturally, nobody understands their objection. We say, “This is a defensive system. How can we use them to attack you?” But they don’t listen. We ask, “How are we going to defend ourselves if Syria fires missiles at us?” But they don’t care.

And I am thinking, “why are these people so strongly opposed to a defensive system that will block a possible attack?”

I think I solved the riddle.

Why are we deploying the Patriots? Against a possible attack from Syria. OK, what is the probability of Syria launching a missile attack against Turkey? About zero percent. It has neither the capacity nor the intention of doing it. Occasional artillery rounds from Syria fall on our soil, but this because of the proximity of the Free Syrian Army to our border. Patriots cannot stop artillery shells.

In that case, why do we want a missile shield against Syria, which is not likely to fire missiles at Turkey? If the Patriots are not against Syria, who are they for?

There is no clear answer to this yet, but surely those who oppose their deployment have already decided. Iran and Russia think the Patriots are not against Syria, but something else.

These missiles are protection against a potential Iranian response to an attack against it. Israel or the US will hit Iran. In response, Iran will hit Israel and the West. Naturally, the radar base at our Kurecik will be among the installations Iran is likely to target.

Patriots are to stop missiles fired from Iran. Russia and Iran believe that is why the Patriots are coming, hence their fierce objections.

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Found in: patriot missiles, turkey, russian
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