Italy is going ahead with the withdrawal of its SAMP/T battery from Turkey, while Spain has announced that it will retain its Patriot missile battery there for another six months as part of the NATO air defence commitment to Turkey, despite the tension in neighbouring Syria.
There had been speculation that the Spanish battery might be withdrawn after Turkey moved troops across the frontier and set up a buffer zone in northern Syria.
Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles said on 24 October that the “battery has to be maintained”.
Robles earlier in October averted media queries as to whether the missiles might be withdrawn because of the increased tension by saying that the final decision would be left to NATO.
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