Spanish Patriot missiles deployed and working in Turkey’s south, says battery commander
ADANA – Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoSpainish Patriot air defense missiles have been deployed in the southern Turkish province of Adana, as part of Turkey’s request for NATO assistance on the country’s border with Syria, the head of the Spanish unit in Turkey said on Jan. 26.
The battery commander of the Spanish Patriot air defense missile system, Captain Luis Burgos Sanchez, said they have deployed Patriot missiles at the General Recai Engin barracks in Adana.
“Five of our launchers are now active. All the launchers are equipped with four missiles,” said Sanchez, adding the missiles are specifically designed for any ballistic missile threats and have been deployed to destroy such missiles, if any are fired.
“The Patriot battery is here to ensure the security of Adana,” he said.
Sanchez stated that the missiles were “very effective” within a range of 70 kilometers, and his team is working hand-in-hand with Turkey to counter any threats that could come from the Middle East.
Spain decided in September to send Patriot missiles to Turkey as part of its NATO obligations to replace units from the Netherlands which were being withdrawn. Naval ships carrying the missiles arrived at the port of Iskenderun in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay on Jan. 9.
Spain’s provision of Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey will ensure its security and stability as a NATO ally, Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenés said on Jan. 16.
“Spain’s support to Turkey is normal, as we see Turkey as a friendly, allied country. We also support a safety corridor, which [Turkey] wants to establish with other NATO allies, in this region,” Morenés said.
The U.S., Germany and the Netherlands each sent two Patriot batteries in 2012 to bolster Turkish air defense in response to a request from Ankara for NATO assistance for Turkey’s border security against any possible attack from Syria. The U.S. and German contingents will remain in Turkey.