5 December 2012
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoðlu claims that the Syrian regime has 700 missiles, adding that their location, storage method and holders are no secret to Ankara.
“A psychological edge has been exceeded in Syria. In the past, it was feared that “if the regime survives, it will take revenge.” But now everyone thinks of what to do next if the regime falls,” Davutoðlu said in a recent interview with Turkish daily Sabah, adding that Turkey’s demand for the Patriot missile system was for precautionary reasons against any threat from uncontrolled groups. “The protection from NATO will be three dimensional; one is the short-range Patriots, the second is the middle-range Terminal High Altitude Air Defense [THAD] system and the last is the AEGIS system, which counters missiles that can reach outside the atmosphere.” With this integrated system, Turkey will have maximum protection, he said.
Davutoðlu said Ankara wants “establishment of a transitional government without [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad,” while Russia wants “a transitional government with al-Assad continuing in its normal process.” Russia and Turkey agree on the target but have differences over the means to reach it, according to Davutoðlu, who added that Russia’s efficient involvement in the process is more significant in comparison to Iran’s role in the issue.