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Turkey says NATO missile batteries need to stay another year

Nov. 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Turkey's foreign ministry says it has asked NATO to extend for a year the deployment of Patriot missiles along the Syrian border.

Ministry spokesman Levent Gumrukcu said the missiles were needed because there had been "no change" in the risk of attack from forces in Syria, Today's Zaman reported Wednesday.

Six missile batteries were put in place in December in the southern provinces of Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras and Adana. Supplied by the United States, the Netherlands and Germany, the missiles are scheduled to be withdrawn by the end of this year.

Military officials say the chance of a Syrian attack is remote. NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Hugh Bayley said last week the number of incidents along the border show "the risk of a Syrian missile attack is still alive."

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