Italy’s air defense system for NATO border protection reaches Turkey’s south
KAHRAMANMARAŞ – Anadolu AgencyAn air defense system from Italy, part of a NATO mission to defend Turkey’s southern border with Syria, has arrived in the southern Turkish province of Kahramanmaraş.
The Italian air defense system was brought by sea to the port of İskenderun in Turkey’s south, from where its parts were transported under tight security measures in 36 lorries to the Gazi Barracks in Kahramanmaraş, where German Patriot air and missile defense units have been positioned for three years.
The lorries were reported to carry missile batteries and military, technical and health equipment. The delivery was expected to continue in the following days.
The U.S. and Germany pulled back their Patriot air and missile defense units positioned in Turkey’s southern provinces in late 2015 and early 2016.
Germany, the United States and the Netherlands all deployed Patriots in early 2013 after Turkey asked its fellow NATO partners for help in protecting its territory amid the escalating civil war in Syria. The Dutch ended their mission in early 2015 and were replaced by the Spanish.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on March 10 that the alliance had agreed with Turkey on Feb. 11 to intensify and increase surveillance of the border between Turkey and Syria in order to protect its member Turkey from possible threats from neighboring Syria.