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German "Patriot" handlers arrive in Turkey

German "Patriot" handlers arrive in Turkey

Around 240 German servicemen arrived in Turkey on Sunday to handle batteries of Patriot missiles deployed there by NATO, ostensibly to guard against possible air strikes from neighboring Syria.

In all, six such batteries – two from the US, two from Germany an as many from the Netherlands - are to be deployed on Turkish territory.

Last November Ankara asked NATO to send in the missiles and the NATO Council decided to deploy them on December 4. All the six batteries are expected to be ready later this month and serviced by about 400 men from each side.

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German servicemen off to Turkey

About 240 German servicemen operating Patriot surface-to-air missile systems left Berlin for the east of Turkey today, the German Air Force command reports.

All in all, about 350 German soldiers will stay in Turkey as part of the NATO mission. They will be from the chemical, radiation and biological protection troops and also the Medical Corps.

The aim of the mission is jointly with the US and Dutch military to protect Turkey which is a NATO member-state from the danger of the military conflict in Syria.

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