Russia: NATO missiles in Turkey spell involvement in Syria conflict

Russia: NATO missiles in Turkey spell involvement in Syria conflict

PanARMENIAN.Net - Planned deployment of Patriot air defense systems at the Turkish-Syrian border will mean NATO’s involvement in the Syrian conflict, Russia’s envoy said on Friday, November 30, RIA Novosti reported.

Alexander Grushko, newly-appointed envoy to NATO, said he reiterated Russia’s concerns over the deployment plan at a meeting with the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels.

“Previously, the alliance officials have repeatedly said that Syria is not Libya, and NATO doesn’t have a role in the Syrian conflict,” he said, referring to last year’s multi-state military intervention in Libya.

Russia insists that the Syrian conflict can’t be resolved with the use of military force, Grushko said.

Turkey, a NATO member, has requested the deployment of Patriot missiles on its territory, saying the anti-missile system is necessary to protect its 900-km border with conflict-torn Syria.

NATO officials have maintained that the missiles systems won’t not be used to establish a no-fly zone or to conduct offensive operations. But Russia criticized the intention saying that it may lead to further escalation of the conflict. This week NATO officials have started surveying sites along the Turkey-Syria border.

The UN has estimated that nearly 40,000 have died since the fighting began in March 2011.

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