U.S. troops begin Patriot missile duty in Turkey
By The Associated Press
Published: Friday, January 4, 2013, 8:20 p.m.
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
ANKARA, Turkey — American troops have started to arrive in Turkey to man Patriot missiles meant to protect the NATO ally from potential Syrian warheads, the U.S. military said Friday.
The United States, Germany and the Netherlands are each deploying two batteries of the U.S.-built defense system to boost Turkey's air defenses against any spillover from Syria's nearly 2-year civil war. The Patriot systems are expected to become operational later this month.
The Stuttgart, Germany-based U.S. European Command said in a statement that American personnel and equipment had started arriving at Turkey's southern Incirlik Air Base. Some 400 personnel and equipment from the military's Fort Sill, Oklahoma-based 3rd Battalion were to be airlifted to Turkey over the coming days, while additional equipment was expected to reach Turkey by sea later in January, the Command said.
NATO endorsed Turkey's request for the Patriots on Nov. 30 after several Syrian shells landed on Turkish territory.
Last month, NATO said the Syrian military has continued to fire Scud-type missiles, although none had hit Turkish territory, and said the alliance was justified in deploying the anti-missile systems in Turkey. Ankara is supporting the Syrian opposition and rebels and is providing shelter to Syrian refugees.
More than 1,000 American, German and Dutch troops are to be based in Turkey to operate the batteries.
- Syria’s civil war combat spilling into Lebanon
- Man who allegedly hacked soldier to death in London identified as Muslim convert
- Red tape hampers research on virus
- Pakistan arrested American who was killed by drone
- Hezbollah guerrillas step up for Syria’s Assad, lose 30 in fighting
- Iranian soldiers fighting for Syria, State contends
- Suicide stuns visitors to Notre Dame Cathedral
- Soldier killed on London street; terrorist suspect filmed with cleaver, knife
- UK official: Soldier slaying suspects part of previous probes
- Egyptian troops mistakenly hit funeral
- Bomber kills 14 at Afghan provincial council
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.