Turkey's İhlas News Agency reported that Patriot missile batteries deployed in Turkey by NATO are being investigated by the alliance for "blind spots," after a Syrian rocket fell on Turkish territories last month. However, a NATO official denied the report and said the alliance did not send a delegation to the area as claimed.
Lt. Col. Rob Phillips, the media operations officer from NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), said the landing site of the missile that left five locals injured in the southern Turkish village of Reyhanlı was outside the areas covered by the Patriot system. He also denied media reports that the system had "blind spots" and that batteries failed to intercept the incoming Syrian missile. He underscored that the decision about the location and coverage of the missile shield were taken jointly by Turkey and its NATO allies.
Patriot batteries were deployed in the Adana, Gaziantep and Kahramanmaraş provinces three years ago upon Turkey's request in the face of a growing security threat from neighboring Syria.
It was claimed that the Patriot system was only programmed to protect NATO at the İncirlik base operated by the U.S. Army instead of the Turkish border in its entirety. Phillips denied the claim and emphasized the Patriot system is present to protect and defend Turkey's territory and citizens against missile attacks from Syria.
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