US Launches Russian Missile Defense System In Turkey


The US has reportedly confirmed for the first time that a NATO anti-missile base in eastern Turkey has begun operation.

A US top commander says that American forces are manning the US-made radar missile defense system.

The base has triggered controversy both in Turkey and in the region.

NATO claims that the system is in place to confront threats from Iran. However, Russia has strongly opposed the deployment of the missile system defense system in Turkey. Moscow says the system is not defensive and is aimed at Russian soil.

Press TV interviewed Bill Jones, a political commentator from Washington, to further talk over the issue. What follows is the transcription of the interview:

Press TV: Many say Turkey is somehow playing into the hands of the West by allowing to host the base. What makes Turkey believe that it would not face the fate of other US allies in the Muslim world?

Jones: I think that the decision that was made on this was made some time ago and what we are seeing now is really the implementation of the decision that Turkey took as a part of NATO.

I do not think they have had abandoned their low-tension policy. Turkey has also been adamant over the issue that there would be no military action neither with regard of course to Iran in particular but also with regard to Syria that that is not their position, although there are some people within NATO and within the United States who are calling for that.

But the once as a member of NATO, they had one decision to make. They could say they would not accept these radars or they could say they did accept it. I think it was a NATO decision; Turkey agreed to be the recipient of that as a member of NATO.

I do not think it has any special interests for them per se it is not protecting Turkey. What it is allegedly protecting is Europe and NATO made the decision Turkey went along with it and agreed to have the radar place there. I think it is really as simple as that.

Press TV: What is the US really trying to achieve from activating this radar base at this point in time?

Jones: I think they have a schedule. They made the decision on this missile defense. Whether you agree with the decision or not, they are moving forward on that.

It has caused a lot of problems for them not least of all with Russia who would have liked to see this developing much differently but they are still moving on that trajectory to have this missile system in spite of the objections of Russia.

They are hoping that they will make an agreement with them even though they have no agreement on missile defense. And unless that decision is changed, the timetable I think is already set and is really mainly a technical matter.

I think they had to get the things set up within a certain time, get the people deploy to that and they just happen to be at this point. It may be a coincidence because the situation is much tenser now than when the decision was taken.

But I think largely at the point that it was implemented, the things were already in place than they set the things up.

Source: Press TV

Categories: MIDDLE EAST

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