US Troops Mass on Turkey’s Syrian Border
Dec 07, 2012
Some 400 U.S. and Dutch NATO troops were massed on Turkey’s Syrian border Friday amid fears besieged President Bashar Assad was poised to use chemical weapons.
The soldiers were beefing up Turkey’s border and readying Patriot missiles three days after NATO agreed to deploy the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system in Turkey. Ankara had requested the installations as a defense against a Syrian missile attack, possibly with chemical weapons.
“Nobody knows what such a regime is capable of and that is why we are acting protectively here,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said of NATO’s move.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday the latest intelligence reports heightened fears Assad would use chemical weapons on the rebels trying to oust him.
“The intelligence that we have raises serious concerns that this is being considered,” he said.