Russia: NATO Intervenes in Syrian conflict
Russia’s ambassador to NATO criticized the Western military alliance for its planned deployment of Patriot missiles on the Turkey-Syria border, saying the move threatens to increase hostilities, RT news website reported.
After dismissing the idea that Syria was interested in “fanning tension on the border” with Turkey, Alexander Grushko said the proposed deployment of US-made Patriot missile defense systems indicated that NATO “is getting involved in the conflict after all.”
Grushko, speaking in Brussels on Friday, warned against NATO’s potential involvement in the Syrian conflict, which would be sparked by “possible incidents” on the Turkey-Syria border.
“We see the danger of the further involvement of NATO in the developments in Syria as a result of provocations or some incidents on the [Turkey-Syria] border,” Grushko said.
Earlier this week, NATO foreign ministers approved Turkey’s request for the deployment of Patriot air defense batteries on Turkey’s border with Syria.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the deployment would be “purely defensive,” and that the Western military bloc has “no intention to prepare offensive operations.”
Istanbul defended its request for the advanced weapon systems by pointing to the recent shelling of its territory from Syria.
Several hundred NATO service members are planned to be stationed in Turkey to service the missile systems.