Patriot missiles to be pulled from Turkey as planned
Patriot missiles deployed in Turkey since 2013 to guard against rockets from Syria will be removed for planned upgrades in October
Patriot missiles deployed in Turkey since 2013 to guard against rockets from Syria will be removed for planned upgrades in October, despite the ongoing crisis across the border, the Pentagon said Thursday.
“The Patriots will be redeployed to the United States for critical modernization upgrades that will ensure our missile defense force remains capable of countering evolving global threats and protecting allies and partners -- including Turkey,” Defense Department spokeswoman Laura Seal said.
The U.S. and Turkey had in August announced the withdrawal of the missiles, deployed under NATO authority in 2013.
Germany has also announced its intention to withdraw its two Patriot missile batteries from Turkey.
NATO can still use a Spanish missile battery that has been deployed since January in Adana in the south of Turkey.
Seal said that if needed, the U.S. could send the Patriot missiles and their personnel back to Turkey “within one week.”
“We will also retain a persistent presence of U.S. Navy multi-role Aegis ships in the eastern Mediterranean,” she added.
The military situation in Syria is changing at a new pace, after Russia on Wednesday launched its first air strikes in the country.
Patriots can shoot down tactical ballistic weapons, cruise missiles or planes.
NATO: We stand with Turkey against ‘terrorism’Erdogan said he expected the NATO military alliance would declare itself ready to take the necessary steps Middle East
NATO holding rare emergency meeting at Turkey’s requestFor just the fifth time in its 66-year history, NATO ambassadors will meet in emergency session Tuesday Middle East
NATO: Turkey has not asked for help against ISISNATO ambassadors are due to meet on Tuesday at Ankara’s request Middle East
Turkey considering China missiles deal despite NATO concernDefense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said in a written answer to a parliamentary question that bid assessment had been completed and no new official bid was received Middle East
Turkey to go ahead with non-NATO-integrated Chinese missile defenseTurkey originally awarded the tender to China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp in 2013 Middle East