BRUSSELS – Nato foreign ministers meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Brussels are expected to signal support for alliance member Turkey by giving the go-ahead to deploy Patriot missiles near its border with Syria.

The 28-nation alliance is more than likely to agree to Turkey’s November 21 request for cover from aerial attack, diplomatic sources said.

Nato spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Friday that a decision would be made “in the next few days.” It may come Tuesday, on the first day of the Nato talks.

The ministers will also discuss the situation in Syria. Last Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was weighing what further help it can give Syrian opposition rebels.

“This is a complex question,” said a diplomat who asked not to be named. “Western nations realise that should they fail to provide the rebels with more help they might have no influence on them if the regime falls.”

Syria will also be raised during an informal Nato-Russia meeting over lunch Tuesday between the ministers and their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Lavrov recently warned against the deployment of the Patriots, saying it could create a temptation to use the weapons. “The more arms are being accumulated, the greater the risk that they will be used,” he said.

Both Nato and Turkey have insisted that the deployment of the US-made surface-to-air missiles was a purely defensive move.