Monday, January 7, 2013

Turkey: Dutch Patriot arrive January 22 (agencies)

Systems Patriot air defense missiles belonging to the Dutch army in Turkish arrive on January 22, announced Friday the New China News Agency (Xinhua), adding that dozens of Dutch and German soldiers would visit the country next week .

"They [the Patriot] will be transported by ship from the port of Eemshaven, which will take some time. Systems are expected in Turkey January 22," the agency reported, citing a spokesman of the Dutch Ministry of Paul Vledder defense.

According to him, the vessels designated to carry the missiles will leave the Netherlands on January 7.

The next day, January 8, 30 Dutch soldiers and 20 German soldiers take off for Turkey in preparation for the deployment of Patriot systems. The bulk of the Dutch contingent - 270 people - leave for Turkey on 21 January.

According to Mr. Vledder, the total cost of the mission, which will last 12 months, stood at 42 million euros.

November 21, Turkey has formally requested NATO to provide Patriot air defense systems to protect its 900 km long border with Syria. On 4 December, the NATO Council gave a positive response to the request of Ankara. In total, six
Patriot batteries from Germany, the Netherlands and the United States will be deployed at the border between Turkey and Syria. They will be operational by the end of January.

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