Germany: Patriots in Turkey send clear warning to Syria

February 23, 2013 17:36

KAHRAMANMARAS, Turkey - Germany's defense minister inspected Patriot missile batteries close to the Syria-Turkey border on Saturday and said they delivered a "clear warning" to Damascus that NATO would not tolerate missiles being fired into Turkey.

Thomas de Maiziere and his Dutch counterpart Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert traveled to the Turkish cities of Adana and Kahramanmaras to inspect the batteries provided by their countries at Turkey's request. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to visit the same area on Sunday when she begins a two-day visit to Turkey.

The United States has also sent Patriots, which are capable of shooting down hostile missiles in mid-air.

"Our presence here serves to make sure that Syria doesn't turn its capabilities into action," de Maiziere said, while also saying that the risk of attack was "minimal."

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