BERLIN Nov 17 Turkey will formally ask NATO on
Monday to set up missiles on its border with Syria due to
growing concern about spillover from the civil war in its
neighbour, a German newspaper reported on Saturday.
The Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which did not cite
its sources, also said that up to 170 German troops could be
deployed as part of the mission.
Turkey said on Friday it had intensified talks with NATO
allies on how to shore up security on its 900-km (560-mile)
frontier with Syria after mortar rounds fired from Syria landed
inside its territory.
"As we have said before, there have been talks between
Turkey and NATO and NATO allies on various issues regarding the
security risks and challenges and possible responses to issues
regarding Turkey-NATO territories," a Turkish government
official said, when asked about the Sueddeutsche Zeitung report.
"Normally we could not reveal the nature of NATO
deliberations while they continue," added the official.
NATO has said it will do what it takes to protect and defend
Turkey. Turkey has said it is talking to its NATO allies about a
possible deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missiles.
A NATO spokeswoman said she could not confirm the report.
"There hasn't been a request from Turkey. If there is a request
from Turkey of course allies will consider it," she said.
NATO ambassadors would have to consider any request from
Turkey and they have a regular weekly meeting on Wednesday but
they could call a special one at any time. European Union
defence and foreign ministers will be in Brussels on Monday for
A spokesman for Germany's Defence Ministry also said NATO
would consider any request from Turkey and confirmed that the
United States, the Netherlands and Germany were the countries
that had the appropriate Patriot missiles available.
"If NATO were to ask Germany, we would consider that and
bear in mind our duties in the alliance," the spokesman said.
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had spoken to his Turkish
counterpart, a ministry spokeswoman said, but she declined to
say what they had discussed.
Even more than 65 years after the end of World War Two,
deploying troops abroad is a sensitive subject for Germans. It
is unclear whether such a mission would require the approval of
the Bundestag lower house.
The prospect of military action quickly set off alarm bells
for some politicians.
"I can only warn against Germany and NATO letting themselves
be drawn into the Syria conflict with no basis in international
law," opposition Greens security expert Omid Nouripour told