NATO to consider Turkey request for Patriots 'without delay'

Updated 21 November 2012
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NATO to consider Turkey request for Patriots 'without delay'

BRUSSELS: NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said yesterday the alliance would consider “without delay” a request from member Turkey for a deployment of surface-to-air Patriot missiles to protect its troubled border with Syria.
“I have received a letter from the Turkish government requesting the deployment of Patriot missiles,” he said in a statement.
“Such a deployment would augment Turkey’s air defense capabilities to defend the population and territory of Turkey. It would contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along NATO’s south-eastern border.
“And it would be a concrete demonstration of alliance solidarity and resolve,” the statement said. “Nato will discuss the Turkish request without delay.”
Diplomatic sources told AFP that NATO ambassadors meeting later yesterday would likely approve the Turkish request while Rasmussen said a team would visit Turkey as early as next week to conduct a site-survey for the possible deployment of Patriots.
“The security of the alliance is indivisible,” Rasmussen said.
“NATO is fully committed to deterring against any threats and defending Turkey’s territorial integrity,” he said.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in Ankara on Tuesday that the surface-to-air missiles were “a precautionary measure, for defense in particular.”
Originally used as an anti-aircraft missile, Patriots today are used to defend airspace by detecting and destroying incoming missiles and were made famous during the 1991 Gulf War.
Germany and The Netherlands are the two main European nations that possess the medium-range missiles made by US group Raytheon and Rasmussen said it was up to “individual NATO countries that have available Patriots... to decide if they can provide them for deployment in Turkey and for how long.”
Rasmussen said there was currently no question of imposing a no-fly zone with the back-up of the Patriot missiles.


EU and US police cripple Daesh media mouthpieces

Updated 18 sec ago
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EU and US police cripple Daesh media mouthpieces

THE HAGUE: EU and US police forces have crippled the main mouthpieces of the Daesh militant group in a coordinated transatlantic takedown across several countries, the European police agency said Friday.
“With this ground-breaking operation we have punched a big hole in the capability of Daesh to spread propaganda online and radicalize young people in Europe,” the head of Europol Rob Wainwright said.
The two-day operation on Wednesday and Thursday was the latest stage of a campaign first launched in 2015, and targeted in particular the Amaq news agency used by Daesh to broadcast claims of attacks and spread its message of jihad.
“With this takedown action, targeting major Daesh-branded media outlets like Amaq, but also Al-Bayan radio, Halumu and Nashir news, Daesh’s capability to broadcast and publicize terrorist material has been compromised,” Europol said in a statement.
The “simultaneous multinational takedown” was coordinated via Europol’s headquarters in The Hague with the support of Eurojust, the EU agency for judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
It was led by the Belgian federal prosecutor, while national police forces seized servers in the Netherlands, Canada and the United States as well as digital material in Bulgaria, France and Romania.
Britain’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit was also involved in identifying “top-level domain registrars abused by IS,” Europol said.
Europol began warning about the rise of Amaq in late 2015, stressing “the technical resilience of the terrorist online infrastructure.”
“Since then law enforcement agencies have, in a continuous joint effort, taken down the web assets of the media outlet,” it said.
Daesh used Amaq in 2016 to claim attacks all over the world and the Middle East, including the deadly assaults in Paris, Brussels, Barcelona and Berlin.
It also used Amaq to claim the March supermarket siege in Trebes, France where a 25-year-old gunman killed four people, including a policeman who took the place of a hostage.