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Defence & Security News - (USA)
US started the withdrawal of Patriot missiles from Turkey
The United States has started on Friday the withdrawal of the Patriot air defence batteries in Turkey, through the port of Iskenderun. Ankara has requested its NATO allies to keep the missiles deployed in its soil, considering the Russian involvement in Syria. However, the US Government has decided not to renew its deployment in Turkey due to the maintenance and upgrade requirements for these batteries.
US starts the withdrawal of Patriot missiles from Turkey
A German Patriot missiles launcher during deployment in Turkey (Source: NATO)

Turkey’s request came once again on 8 October, after Russian fighter aircraft violated its airspace. Albeit NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, stated that the Alliance would support Turkey in case of an aggression, even with ground troops, the timing of the withdrawal has raised questions from the Turkish side. Germany has also decided in August not to renew its mandate and withdraw its systems referring to technical reasons.

Further to the technical issues, the Alliance members have stated that the danger from Syria is reduced, thus not making the deployment necessary. Nevertheless, Turkey remains skeptical on the decisions, which came at a very short notice.

The deployment of Patriot missiles started in January 2013. The United States and Germany committed two batteries each, Spain one when it replaced the Netherlands, which had two more during the January 2013-15 period. The Spanish battery currently deployed in the city of Adana will remain in place, until NATO’s further notice.

The Turkish Armed Forces lack a long-range air defence system, equivalent to the Patriot system. The initial decision to acquire the Chinese HQ-9 systems has been cancelled due to pressure from NATO, which feared that the Chinese could obtain classified details about western systems, during the process of the integration with the Turkish air-defence system.



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