Ironclad Support

Turkey has received “ironclad support” from its NATO allies in dealing with the threat to its territory and people posed by the civil war violence in neighboring Syria, said Turkish Ambassador to the United States Namik Tan on Dec. 18. “We have consulted enough” with NATO about the security situation with Syria, and with NATO’s recent decision to deploy Patriot missile batteries to Turkey, Turkey’s security needs “are met” for now, Tan told reporters in Washington, D.C. “NATO territory is also being threatened,” he noted in stressing the point that the Syrian unrest is not just a Turkish problem. The Patriots “are defensive systems,” as NATO itself has made clear, and “will be used in the eventuality that Turkey is attacked,” said Tan. Syrian ballistic missiles can cover “almost every corner of Turkey,” he said. As of Tuesday morning, some Patriot components were already en route to Turkey, said Tan. He said Turkey has “no intention of acting unilaterally” against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and wants nothing “like a military confrontation with regime forces.” He said, when the time comes, Turkey would “help and support” efforts to bring stability to a post-Assad Syria, but it’s “too early to say” if Turkey would contribute boots on the ground to such an effort.