Netherlands and Germany ready to deploy Patriot missiles to defend Turkish border with Syria

Nov 20 2012 - 2 Comments
By Richard Clements

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen tweeted on Monday Nov. 19 that NATO would consider a request from Turkey to deploy Patriot anti-missile systems along its border with Syria.

Al Arabia website quotes Rasmussen as saying: “we will consider any request as a matter of urgency.” Rasmussen went on to add: “The situation on the Syria-Turkey border is of great concern. We have all the plans ready to defend and protect Turkey if needed. The plans will be adjusted if necessary to ensure effective protection of Turkey.”

Only two countries in Europe operate the Patriot anti-missile system, those being The Netherlands and Germany. German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere was quoted as saying the he expected a request on Monday.

Image credit: NATO

Dutch News website Volksrant says that the Dutch government has positive thoughts towards the request and would seek to gain a majority verdict in the Dutch Parliament. It should be pointed out that the Netherlands deployed its Patriots to Turkey during both Gulf Wars to provide protection from Iraqi Scuds.

Similar noises are coming out of Berlin. According to the German website DW, the deployment would be the first ever to a war zone for the anti-aircraft missile squadron.

[Read also: Photo: Israel – American exercise reaches its peak with actual Patriot launchings]

Based near the German town of Husum near the Danish border the Patriots have never been fired and according to DW the German government has sought to save costs by halving the Patriot capability by 2015 and will remove them from service totally by 2025.

One or two German units could be deployed very soon, although the German government is concerned as they do not want to be drawn into the Syrian civil war.

As of writing, no formal announcement has been made as to whether Turkey has made a request or if it has, whether NATO has agreed to send the missiles to the border area, nothing has been released on the NATO website.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

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  • Ramazan Durak

    German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere is wrong, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIM-104_Patriot . I think only Germany, Holland and USA have PAC-3 3rd generation patriot missiles, which can be used to intercept Scuds. I guess he meant that.

  • zazuge

    I’m not knowledgeable about this system
    but turkey have a patriot system
    though if its enough to protect all its territory
    from scuds launched from syria, is not known
    the problem is the efficient of said system
    if a precentage of scuds get throught that would be a huge blow for gov policy (which already have many problems with alawis and pro-assads inside turkey)
    and the PAC-3 if I’m not wrong is the only system that can destroy chemical warhead above a certain altitude so its hazard would not reach the surface and that explains such request