Turkey Gets Patriot Missiles

A ship from Germany arrived in Iskenderun, a Turkish port carrying patriot missiles equipment as part of the country’s efforts to stop the violence taking place in Syria from spilling over its borders and into Turkey.

The vessel arrived Monday after another ship, registered in the Netherlands had arrived on Sunday also carrying patriot missile kits. On Saturday, more than 240 German soldiers touched down at an airport in Turkey to be deployed to the Turkish border with Syria as part of a mission led by NATO.  The batteries form a part of the contingent of NATO Patriot missiles that can intercept incoming missiles. They will remain for the next year in Turkey.

Two U.S. and Dutch batteries also are being deployed to different parts of the southern region of Turkey.

NATO announced in December that it had decided to position the anti-missile systems close to the southern border of Turkey to help defend against cross-border attacks. Turkey is a member of NATO and requested the Patriots to boost its air defense.

Along the border with Syrian violence increased over recent months, with artillery being fired by Turkey across the border in retaliation for shells from Syria landing on Turkish soil.

Opposition leaders in Syrian meeting in Istanbul postponed the forming of a transitional government in what was considered a setback in its effort to fill a vacuum of power in the country.

The talks were launched Saturday and were the second attempt by the opposition to form a new government. The credibility of the groups is now coming into question. In December, the coalition of 70 members was formed in Qatar with the backing of the Gulf and West. Powers clashes amongst the members have undermined any efforts to form the transitional government.

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