- Title: TURKEY: German troops arrive at Incirlik airbase for Patriot deployment
- Date: 20th January 2013
- Summary: INCIRLIK, TURKEY (JANUARY 20, 2013) (REUTERS) GERMAN AIRCRAFT IN THE AIR AIRCRAFT LANDING CONTROL TOWER AIRCRAFT TAXIING ON TARMAC ANOTHER MILITARY AIRCRAFT PARKED ON TARMAC MORE OF AIRCRAFT TAXIING ANOTHER MILITARY AIRCRAFT ON TARMAC GERMAN SOLDIERS DISEMBARKING SOLDIERS WALKING PAST
- Embargoed: 4th February 2013 12:00
- Location: Turkey
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Conflict,International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVABV4ZZP086OW2ZN5FXVUSAEZRS
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Some 240 German Bundeswehr soldiers arrived to Turkey's Incirlik air base on Sunday (January 20) as part of a NATO effort to bolster security along Turkey's border with Syria.
Germany, Dutch and U.S. patriot missiles are to be set up in Turkey to deter possible attacks by Syria on NATO ally Turkey.
The first of six NATO patriot missiles are due to arrive by ship from German on Monday, only weeks after the alliance approved their deployment.
The Dutch missiles are expected to arrive in Iskenderun on Tuesday and the US missiles later in the month.
Predominantly air force personnel will take part in operation 'Active Fence Turkey' and will offer logistical, medical and defence assistance.
Patriot missiles are expected to be deployed near the southeastern cities of Adana, Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras.
NATO approved Turkey's request for the air defence system in December, in a move meant to calm Ankara's fears of being hit by Syrian missiles, possibly with chemical weapons.
The United States, the Netherlands and Germany have agreed to send two missile batteries each to Turkey along with around 400 troops from each country to operate the systems which are designed to intercept missiles or aircraft.
While some foreign troops started arriving in Turkey in December with some equipment, the Patriot batteries were expected to be fully functional by the end of January.
Each truck-mounted Patriot battery consists of a command post, a radar to track incoming missiles, and up to eight launchers with up to eight Patriot missiles each.
The system can simultaneously track 50 targets and shoot down five. It takes about 85 soldiers to work one battery plus logistical support.
Defence experts have said it would be a stretch for six Patriot batteries to defend Turkey's 910 km (560 mile) border with Syria and that they were usually stationed to protect strategically important targets like big cities, military installations or key infrastructure.
Iran and Russia, who have supported Syria throughout the uprising, have criticised NATO's decision, saying the Patriot deployment would intensify the conflict.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None