NATO agrees to deploy anti-missile systems in Turkey

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BRUSSELS (AP) – NATO members have agreed to deploy Patriot anti-missile systems near Turkey‘s southern border.

The systems will boost Turkey’s defenses against the threat of cross-border attacks from Syria.

The alliance’s 28 members decided today that the missiles could be used solely for the purpose of warding off mortar rounds and shells from Syria that have already killed five Turks.

The announcement also appeared aimed at sending a message to Syria’s Bashar Assad, at a time when the U.S. and others believe Syria may be getting its chemical weapons stockpiles ready for possible use.

But NATO’s secretary general says the deployment of the Patriot systems won’t be a first step toward a no-fly zone over parts of Syria.

It’s not clear if any American soldiers will have to be deployed with the Patriot systems, which include missiles, radar and other elements.

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