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Rasmussen: NATO responsible for missiles

Nov. 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The NATO Air Command and Control System will be responsible for Patriot missiles on Turkey's border with Syria, the NATO secretary-general said Tuesday.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in an interview with the Turkish news channel NTV, said the missiles, requested by the Turkish government, will be installed by NATO members, Today's Zaman reported.

"Of course, Turkey is a NATO member country," Rasmussen said.

Turkey requested the missiles last week. As the civil war in Syria has intensified, shells have several times crossed the border.

NATO previously installed missiles in Turkey during the 1991 and 2003 wars with Iraq.

Turkish officials have said the country will be responsible, because of its participation in NATO's Europe Command Control System, with deciding if missiles will be fired.

"Turkey will be holding the trigger," Huseyin Celik, deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party, told reporters.

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