U.S. Patriot Missiles Begin Arriving In Turkey

“The deployment started early this morning into Incirlik” Air Base in southeastern Turkey, Peter Woodmansee, missile defense chief of the U.S. European Command, told AFP. “Several aircraft landed very early this morning with the advance party personnel from 3-2 Air Defense Artillery (ADA) — the Patriot unit — arriving as well.”

The deployment comes as violence rages across Turkey’s southern border, with the United Nations estimating that at least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011.

The Americans will be based at Gaziantep, 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the border. “The 23 U.S. team members at Gaziantep are determining specific site preparations the U.S. and the government of Turkey must complete before we put the Patriot firing batteries at Gaziantep,” Woodmansee said. “Specifically, living area requirements, logistics, communications, safety and operational aspects of protecting the population in and around Gaziantepin support of the NATO defensive mission.”

Germany, The Netherlands and the United States agreed to supply the ground-to-air missile batteries, which Turkey requested after repeated cross-border shelling from Syria, including an October attack that killed five civilians.

Full article: U.S. Patriot Missiles Begin Arriving In Turkey (DefenseNews)

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