From David Crawford, Emre Peker, and Stephen Fidler, Wall Street Journal: Germany is privately pressing Turkey to scale back the scope of its request for Patriot missile-defense batteries to defend the country’s borders with war-torn Syria, according to a person familiar with negotiations.
Turkey is seeking help to defend virtually all the towns and cities within 50 miles of Turkey’s roughly 565-mile border with Syria, said the person familiar with the talks. Germany is privately pressing Turkey to keep the request to a minimum, the person said. . . .
While the assessment of the talks couldn’t be corroborated, it is consistent with positions in each country—Germans’ widespread resistance to deploying such a system, versus a public push in Turkey to protect civilians from war in Syria.
NATO will work with Turkey’s armed forces in a technical study to "protect the widest swath of Turkey," the country’s Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz told reporters in the eastern province of Sivas on Saturday, according to state-run Anatolia news agency.
For decades, German public opinion has opposed participation in international conflicts, with rare exceptions such as Afghanistan and the Balkans. Fifty-nine percent of Germans oppose deploying German Patriot missiles in Turkey, according to a public-opinion poll published last week by Infratest Dimap. . . .
During discussions, German officials have told their Turkish partners that it wouldn’t make sense to provide air-defense for the entire region "vaguely" outlined by Turkey during the talks, the person familiar with the bilateral discussions said.
Turkey’s request would require about 15 batteries of Patriot missiles, this person said, adding that Germany’s expected share of that request would be larger than it could fulfill. The Netherlands’ contingent of Patriots is even smaller, this person said, adding that it is also unclear if the U.S. would offer to fill the gap between what Germany and the Netherlands can provide and what Turkey says it needs.
From Xinhua: Turkey has asked NATO to deploy 18 to 20 Patriot missiles along its border with Syria, but the Alliance only offered about eight to 10 missiles, NTV news channel reported Wednesday. (photo: sabah.de)