NATO allies backed keeping Patriot missiles in Turkey on Wednesday, agreeing with Ankara that threats from the civil war in Syria remained serious, an alliance official said.

The Netherlands, Germany and the United States, which deployed the missiles to Turkey, must now take national decisions on keeping them there, the official said.

In Germany and the Netherlands that requires parliamentary approval. All three nations said they were in favour of keeping the missiles in Turkey provided they gained the necessary approvals at home, a NATO source said.