Turkish FM: Patriot missiles will be returned upon the cessation of tensions on its border
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 10 / Trend, A. Tagiyeva /
Patriot anti-air missiles will be sent back upon the elimination of tensions on the Syrian-Turkish border, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday, Anadolu reports.
He reiterated that the Patriot air defense system is not directed against any country and is aimed at defending Turkey.
As earlier reported, the shipment of Patriot missiles, equipment, and the arrival of 400 U.S. servicemen within a NATO mission for strengthening the air defenses of Turkey against possible Syrian missile strikes is expected to be completed by late January.
Turkey requested Patriot missiles from NATO in late November 2012 to protect against a possible air attack by Syria.
The Syrian army periodically bombs border areas with Turkey. In October, as a result of another attack conducted by the Syrian Air Force, 6 Turkish citizens were killed.
Anti-government disturbances have continued in Syria for more than a year and a half. According to the UN Human Rights Commissioner, the total number of victims of the conflict in Syria exceeds 60,000. More than 230,000 have become refugees and there are around three million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Syrian authorities say they oppose the well-armed militants.