US State Department Backs Patriot Missile Sale to Turkey

On December 18, the U.S. State Department approved a potential $3.5 billion sale of Patriot air defenses to Turkey. The deal would include 80 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM) and 60 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles, as well as four AN/MPQ-65 radars and other related equipment. According to an unnamed State Department spokesperson, the sale will allow “the Turkish military to guard against hostile aggression and shield NATO allies.” This announcement follows several years of increasing tensions between the United States and Turkey under President Tayyip Erdogan.