Iran's military chief says the deployment of NATO Patriot missiles on the Turkey-Syria border could lead to a "world war" that engulfs Europe.
Patriot missile batteries, German Air Force
On December 15, the state-controlled Iranian Students' News Agency quoted armed forces chief General Hassan Firouzabadi as saying each Patriot missile is "a black mark on the world map" that is "meant to cause a world war."
Turkey asked NATO in November to deploy the Patriot defense system, which is designed to shoot down aircraft or missiles.
The request came after airspace violations by Syrian warplanes and Syrian artillery fire spilling into Turkish territory.
On December 14, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the deployment in Turkey of two Patriot missile batteries along with 400 troops to operate them, following similar steps by Germany and the Netherlands.
Based on reporting by Reuters and ISNA
Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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