TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

U.S. troops begin Patriot missile duty in Turkey

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 8:20 p.m.
 

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.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Mines planted near plane crash site in Ukraine
  2. Israeli military hit U.N. refugee camp in school, killing 17
  3. Obama, European leaders agree to new Russia sanctions
  4. Venezuela officials shut out from travel to U.S.
  5. European Union adds Russian President Putin’s inner circle to sanctions list
  6. Landslide decimates Indian village, killing at least 17
  7. Fuel fire puts fight in Libya on hold
  8. Israel admits shelling U.N. school, denies strike intentional
  9. Gaza’s only power plant taken out; utility official says attack ‘catastrophic’ for 1.8 million
  10. Strike on crowded Gaza area kills 16, wounds 150
  11. Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.