Saturday, December 22, 2012

Still a Fly Zone

Notwithstanding Iran's charges that deploying 6 batteries of Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey will start World War III and Moscow's bout of Russian-ness, the missiles are barely able to reach the Turkish-Syrian border.

We're told where the Patriot batteries will go:

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Patriot missiles being sent by NATO members to bolster Turkey's defenses against a possible missile attack from Syria will be deployed near the southeastern cities of Adana, Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras. ...

Adana, Turkey's fourth-largest city, is located around 100 km (60 miles) from the Syrian border. The joint Turkish-American Incirlik Air Base is also just outside the city.

Gaziantep, a city of around 1.5 million people, is further to the east, some 60 km (35 miles) from the Syrian border. Kahramanmaras, to the north of Gaziantep, has around half a million inhabitants and is some 150 km (95 miles) from Syria.

The missile has a range of 160 kilometers against aircraft and 20 kilometers against missiles.

So the missiles are focused in a triangle to the northwest and west of Aleppo. And far back from the border.

I assume that sites closer to the border will be surveyed so that missiles at the initial locations can redeploy fairly rapidly. But for now, Syrian planes, helicopters, and ballistic missiles have free shots at the Syrian population.