A number of scud missiles that the Syrian government fired at rebels landed close to the border of Turkey, a senior military commander in NATO said in a blog on Friday, while explaining why batteries of Patriot anti-missiles were being deployed into Turkey.
The comments on Friday were made by James Stavridis a U.S. Admiral and the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO for Europe and were the first confirmation that Scuds had rained down near the Turkish border, a member state of NATO. Stavridis also said that the situation inside Syria was dangerous and chaotic.
Officials from NATO and the U.S. said that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces from the Syrian military fired ballistic missiles that were scud-like at rebel groups over the past few days in what had been described by officials from the U.S. as a big escalation of the civil war that has raged for over 20 months.
Stavridis wrote that over the last couple of days, over a handful of missiles were launched in Syria, directed by the Syrian government against rebel targets. Several, wrote the Admiral, landed somewhat close to the border of Turkey, which is quite worrisome.
On Thursday, officials from Syria denied using Scud missiles in the ongoing fight against what they are calling different terrorist groups.
Stavridis is concerned with the Scuds since they are capable of being fitted for chemical weapons and the Syrian regime is known to be in possession of chemical weapons.
Turkey took the offensive last week by scrambling jets along the border with Syria and did the same when shells from the fighting in Syria landed inside its border.