Spain has no decision taken on Patriots in Turkey: Embassy
The Spanish Embassy in Ankara has reiterated that Madrid has not yet made any official decision about the future of its continued deployment of Patriot air defense systems for the protection of the Turkish air space under a NATO mission.
“Spain has not yet taken any official decision about its mission on Patriots established in the NATO airbase of İncirlik. These type of missions are subjected to evaluation and rotation every six months and any change is made by petition of NATO and according to NATO,” said the embassy in a brief statement on Oct 12, referring to the military base in the southern province of Adana.
“The next mission rotation will take place in December 2019,” it added. Some reports in the Turkish media have suggested that Spain had already finalized the decision-making process on the withdrawal of its contingent in Turkey.
The embassy’s statement underlines that this is not the case for the time being.
The first Spanish contingent began moving to Turkey on Dec. 29, 2014 in line with relevant NATO decisions to upgrade the Turkish air space against potential attacks by the Syrian regime.
Spanish PATRIOT Unit force is currently deployed with a total of 149 military personnel, based on some of the Spanish Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiments.
“The mission is purely defensive to protect Turkey against any possible ballistic missile attacks from the Syrian Government army or Daesh [ISIL]. The mission is constituted in the framework of NATO plans [Active Fence] and coordinated by NATO AIRCOM,” recalled the statement.