NATO’s deployment of Patriot missiles on Turkey’s restive border with Syria is a prelude to military intervention in the country to help “terrorist groups,” a pro-regime newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The pro-regime Al-Watan newspaper said that the deployment of missiles was also aimed at sabotaging international peace envoy Lakdhar Brahimi’s diplomatic efforts at resolving the crisis in Syria.

“In deploying Patriot missiles, one of the Turkish campaign’s objectives is to lead NATO towards intervening militarily in Syria in support of terrorist groups,” the newspaper reported citing an unnamed official.

The regime of President Bashar al-Assad has consistently referred to activists and rebels as “terrorists” ever since the outbreak of a revolt in March last year that morphed into an armed rebellion.

The deployment of missiles “is also aimed at sabotaging diplomatic efforts by international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, as well as discussions taking place between US and Russian deputy foreign ministers to try and find a solution to the crisis,” the official was quoted as saying by Al-Watan.

The deployment is also aimed at “covering up French and British attempts at transferring arms to the opposition”.

Turkey’s moves “prove that Syria is making important gains on the ground, and that the terrorist groups have failed to fulfill the tasks they have been assigned by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France, Britain and Turkey”.

Damascus has consistently accused Western nations and the Gulf of arming the opposition, and of fuelling assistance to rebels through Turkey.

Assad’s regime says Syria is target of an “international conspiracy” designed at sowing chaos in the country.

NATO late last month approved Patriot missile deployment near Turkey’s border with Syria, as clashes pitting rebels and the Syrian army raged just across the frontier.