Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Dutch, German Patriot Batteries Now in Turkey
Patriot air and missile defense systems sent by the Netherlands and Germany on Monday arrived in Turkey where they are to be deployed for as long as a year in territory not far from the Syrian border under the NATO collective protection framework, Agence France-Presse reported.
The four Patriot batteries provided by Germany and the Netherlands arrived by ship at the Iskenderun sea port, according to an unidentified alliance source.
The United States has two Patriot systems already in Turkey at Incirlik. "They will move to Gaziantep once the Turkish military finishes preparing the site. I estimate in another five to seven days or so," said Col. Peter Woodmansee, who leads the U.S. European Command's antimissile activities.
The total of six Patriot systems are being deployed in response to Ankara's call for NATO protection against feared Syrian ballistic missile attacks. The Western military bloc maintains the Patriot missiles will play solely a defensive role.
"We hope the mission will not take too long," a German military officer said in an interview with a Turkish broadcaster at Iskenderun. "If we are wanted to stay longer we will do that."
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