Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 24
NATO continues to stand in strong solidarity with Turkey and to protect the Alliance's south-eastern border, NATO official told Azernews on August 24.
The source said that NATO expects the Allies to review the deployment of the Patriot Missiles batteries in Turkey in the months ahead and the organization will take decisions in due course.
"The Patriot mission is renewed on an annual basis. The current mandate runs until the end of the year," the NATO official said. Any decision on the future of the mission will be based on a thorough assessment and a request by Turkey to extend the mission."
The source also added that the German and U.S. Patriot deployments have made an important contribution to helping protect the population of Turkey against ballistic missile threats from Syria.
Over the last years the Syrian regime has fired hundreds of ballistic missiles, the vast majority of which fell in Syria. However, some missiles landed in neighboring countries, including in Turkey.
The NATO official believes that while the current threat posed by Syrian missiles to Turkey is assessed as low, a risk remains that missiles launched against opposition forces inside Syria could fall into Turkey.
Earlier Turkish media reported that the U.S. will send an additional Aegis-equipped ship to the Mediterranean this fall to defend Turkey and other NATO allies against ballistic missile threats, and the additional deployment brings the total number of ship-borne anti-missile Aegis systems in the Mediterranean to four.
Turkey agreed in July to allow the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition to launch airstrikes against the militant's positions from the strategic Incirlik Air Base, located near Turkey's border with war-torn Syria.