US, Germany and the Netherlands to deploy Patriot systems in Turkey
By Doug Richardson
While en route to Turkey on 14 December, US Defense Secretary Leon E Panetta signed an order that will deploy two missile batteries and 400 US personnel to Turkey to support the deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missile systems in that country that NATO had agreed to ten days earlier.
Announcing the deployment order, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little declined to specify where the two US Patriot batteries would be located. "I'm not going to go into precise locations at this time," he said, "but I wanted to let you know that we signed that order and that we are prepared in the context of NATO to support the defence of Turkey for an unspecified period of time." The units were expected to be position "in a couple of weeks", he added.
On his arrival in Turkey, Panetta said that the deployment would "help Turkey have the kind of missile defence it may very well need in dealing with threats that come out of Syria".
The US government was "very concerned about some intelligence that we received recently that [the Syrian government] had, in fact, moved to begin to arm weapons that would involve ... the use of chemical and biological material", said Panetta.200 of 671 words
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