Patriot missile equipment arrive in Turkey

German vessel follows Dutch ship carrying missile kits as part of NATO effort to defend ally amid conflict in Syria.

    A German ship carrying Patriot missile equipment has arrived in the Turkish port of Iskenderun as part of an effort to stop violence in Syria from spilling over its borders.

    The Suecia Seaways vessel arrived on Monday after the Netherlands-registered Louise Russ ship also carrying missile kits pulled into the area on Sunday night.

    The day before, 240 German troops touched down in Turkey; they will be deployed on the border with Syria as part of a NATO mission.

    The German batteries are part of a NATO contingent of Patriot missiles that intercept incoming ballistic missiles, which will remain in Turkey for a year.

    Two Dutch and two US batteries are also being deployed to other parts of southern Turkey.

    In December, NATO announced its decision to position Patriot anti-missile systems near Turkey's southern border to defend against the threat of cross-border attacks, bringing the US and its allies closer to the civil war raging between Syrian opposition fighters and President Bashar Assad's regime.

    Turkey, a NATO member, requested the missiles to boost its air defences.

    Violence has flared along the border in recent months, with Turkey firing artillery across the frontier to retaliate for Syrian shells hitting Turkish soil.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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