German government agrees to keep Patriot missiles in Turkey until 2016
BERLIN - Reuters
DHA PhotoGermany's cabinet on Jan. 7 agreed to keep two German Patriot missile batteries in southern Turkey for another year, where they are deployed as part of a NATO mission to defend Turkey's border with Syria.
The mandate, which needs approval from parliament, allows a maximum of 400 German soldiers to serve in NATO-member Turkey until January 2016.
The United States, Germany and the Netherlands all deployed Patriots in early 2013, after Turkey asked NATO for help protecting its territory as civil war in Syria intensified. Shells fired from Syrian territory frequently land in Turkey.
The Dutch will end their participation at the end of January and will be replaced by Spanish units.