Turkey’s Defense Minister: It’s Not ‘Technically Possible’ for Country’s Patriot Missiles to Protect Israel From Iranian Attack
A patriot missile defense system deployed in Turkey by NATO cannot protect Israel from an attack by Iran.
According to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News, during a speech to Parliament Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said: “Some of our colleagues lodged claims that ‘the target of the deployment of these [Patriots] is aimed at protecting Israel from missiles to be launched from Iran,’ which does not at all comply with the truth. It is not technically possible for a missile, the target of which could be 36 kilometers away, to intercept a missile launched from Iran to Israel.”
Opposition parties in Turkey as well as the Iranian government have suggested that the deployment of the missile batteries were there to protect Israel.The Turkish government claims the batteries are for defense purposes only and are meant as a warning to Syria’s besieged president, Bashar al-Assad.
“Patriots are not weapons of attack. Taking into consideration the fact that it is solely a defense system, the firing authority should be held at the level that can fulfill legitimate defense in the most effective way. In this regard, the command of the Patriots will be held by the Allied Commander Europe,” Yılmaz said.
Last month, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast said the missiles were “placed by NATO and the West to protect Israel” against possible incoming Iranian missiles.
Currently, five of six Patriot batteries belonging to Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. are in operation with a second U.S. Patriot battery expected to become operational in the coming days as construction at its future site in the southeastern Anatolian province of Gaziantep is completed, Hurriyet reported.