TODAY   |  December 14, 2012

US to move Patriot missiles and troops to Turkey

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an order that sends Patriot missiles to NATO ally Turkey to defend its border with Syria. The US will also deploy about 400 Americans to operate the missiles. NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> let us begin on a friday morning with that breaking news tied to the mounting crisis in syria . nbc's aman mulhaldeen has the story.

>> reporter: as threats coming out of syria escalate, panetta added that the u.s. has drawn up plans to present president obama with options in the event that president assad uses chemical and biological weapons against its own people. leon panetta has authorized patriot missiles to turkey.

>> we are deploying two patriot batteries here to turkey along with the troops that are necessary to man those batteries.

>> the pentagon will deploy 400 americans to operate it. and what the administration says is a signal that the u.s. is committed to the defense of turkey. inside syria , there are signs the battle for that country has entered a new phase. the regime of president bashar al assad appears to be cracking. to bolster the option, they've acknowledged the syrian national council as the sole representative of the syrian people . now, according to human rights watch , using incindeary weapons. taking the fight to the regime's capital, damascus. news agency report ed an explosion near a school on thursday that killed 16 people, including women and children . syrian human rights organization confirmed the attack that added the explosion occurred near a military residents. sear ian rebels are regularly attacking the airport, which they say are serving as a supply of cash and weapons for the regime. it's the beginning of end says sok some.

>> the regime is losing control, it's lost huge chunks of territories. after two years in serious battles, it's exhausted.

>> reporter: a top nato general today says it is unlikely that president bashar al assad will stay in power. though russia insists it will not change its support for assad, despite the fact that they acknowledged that the syrian regime was losing control.

>> ayman mohyeldin, thank you very much.