German minister says Turkey will ask NATO for Patriot missiles on Syrian border

German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere says he expects Turkey to make a formal request to NATO on Monday for Patriot missiles to bolster anti-aircraft defenses along the border with war-wracked Syria.

NATO's Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said no such request had been received yet from Ankara, but that it would be considered "as a matter of urgency." He also noted that NATO has drawn up plans to defend Turkey and that the deployment of Patriots would not mean imposing a no-fly zone over Syrian territory, a key demand of Syrian opposition groups.

NATO installed anti-aircraft batteries on Turkish territory during the 1991 and 2003 Iraq wars. They were never used.

Within the alliance, only the United States, Germany and the Netherlands have Patriots in their arsenals.