Missile deployment in Turkey to create no-fly zone for Syrian aircraft - expert

Prospective deployment of NATO Patriot missiles in Turkey, close to the Syrian border, will actually create a no-fly zone bypassing the UN Security Council, leading researcher of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Oriental Studies Vladimir Kudelev told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

"Deployment of Patriot missile systems may drastically change the progress of hostilities in northern Syria. It will create a 200-250 kilometer umbrella along the Syrian-Turkish border for Syrian insurgents. Besides, the recently formed National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces will be able to speak of its control over certain territories," he said.

"Then the Coalition may claim that it represents a significant number of Syrian people and have seeming legitimacy in the eyes of foreign supporters of the Syrian opposition," the expert said.

"There is no doubt that NATO will give an affirmative answer to the formal request by Turkey. The deployment of Patriot missiles along the Syrian border will undermine the role of the UN Security Council, which would hardly have approved a no-fly zone for Syrian aircraft," he remarked.

"Hence, the implementation of plans to bring Patriots to Turkey is fraught with the fragmentation of Syria. That would be the worst scenario. But the intention of the insurgents and their foreign patrons to create an enclave free from Damascus may not come true," he said.

"Ankara and some other capitals must have forgotten about the Kurdish factor. There are areas of Kurdish compact residence in northern Syria and they are rather hostile to the insurgents so far. This is proven with the recent heavy fighting around Ra's al'Ayn where units of the Kurdish Democratic Union resisted gunmen of two Islamic groups," Kudelev said.

NATO was asked to deploy Patriot missiles in Turkey for protecting the country from possible attacks from Syria. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said they would discuss the issue immediately.

The United States basically supported the deployment of the missiles.

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