Turkey: Berlin aims to extend Patriot missile deployment

Turkey: Berlin aims to extend Patriot missile deployment
# 07 January 2015 19:50 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. German cabinet requests the deployment of missile batteries to continue for an extra year, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

The German government is set to extend its deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey for another year, as part of a NATO mission to support the country’s air defense.

The Germany cabinet’s decision on Wednesday extends the battery deployment up to Jan. 31, 2016, with the stated goal of protecting the NATO ally against possible threats from the regime of Bashar al-Assad in neighboring Syria.

The German government will seek authorization of its decision from the Federal Parliament, the Bundestag, later in the month, but its decision looks assured as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative-left coalition government enjoys an overwhelming parliamentary majority.

Germany’s previous conservative-liberal coalition government had first stationed two Patriot batteries inTurkey following a request by Ankara in 2012.

The batteries provided have been stationed in the southern Turkish city of Kahramanmaras since Jan. 2013 and have been operating under the command and control of NATO.

The mission involves up to 400 troops from the German military.

Currently about 250 German soldiers are serving in Kahramanmaras in the €20 million mission, funded by Germany.

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