US missile teams in Turkey, missiles come later

By REUTERS
January 5, 2013 00:21

BRUSSELS - US soldiers who will man Patriot anti-missile batteries to protect Turkey from the spillover of Syria's civil war began arriving in the country on Friday, the US military said, but the missiles themselves are due later.

Turkey formally asked NATO for the missiles in November to bolster security along its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria, which has been torn by a 21-month insurgency against President Bashar Assad.

Turkey repeatedly has scrambled fighter jets along the frontier and responded in kind when Syrian shells came down inside its borders, fanning fears that the civil war could spread to destabilize the region.

About 400 US personnel and equipment from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery, based at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, will arrive in Turkey over the next several days by US military airlift, the US European Command said on its website.


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