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Netherlands will not prolong the mission of Patriot complexes in Turkey

Wed, 27.08.2014 10:46



KYIV/Ukraine in Arabic/ The Netherlands will end its contribution to NATO's deployment of Patriot anti-ballistic missile systems in Turkey once the current contract expires in January 2015, the country's defense ministry said.

According to him, the main reason to return the complexes home, is the need for their repair and maintenance which cannot be done in Turkey.

The Netherlands, Germany and the United States each sent two Patriot missile batteries and soldiers to operate them in early 2013 in response to a request from NATO ally Turkey for help against attacks from neighbouring Syria.

Ankara has been one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fiercest critics during Syria's civil war, which began in 2011. Shells fired from Syrian territory frequently land inside Turkey, drawing a response in kind from the Turkish military.

A Dutch defence ministry spokeswoman said the Netherlands no longer had the resources to keep its batteries deployed in the field, even though the threat to Turkey from ballistic missiles persisted.

They've been deployed 24/7 for almost two years and you can't prolong it any longer," the spokeswoman said. "We've announced this now so that NATO can take a decision on how to continue."

The Patriot batteries had initially been expected to remain in Turkey for up to a year but no time limit was ever set.

NATO will continue to protect Turkey from possible attacks from Syria

Although the alliance’s deployments will continue, a Turkish diplomat has told. The official noted the U.S. and Germany plan to extend the mission for one more year.

Noting the threat of attacks from Syria to Turkey is not completely over, the Netherlands also said NATO would continue its efforts to protect Turkey.

hurriyetdailynews.com

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