Pentagon to Send Missiles, 400 Troops to Turkey

Leon Panetta, Christopher Craige, Serdar Gulbas

The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed a deployment order en route to Turkey from Afghanistan calling for 400 U.S. soldiers to operate two batteries of Patriots at undisclosed locations in Turkey, Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters flying with Panetta.

Germany and the Netherlands have already agreed to provide two batteries of the U.S.-built defense systems and send up to 400 German and 360 Dutch troops to man them, bringing the total number of Patriot batteries slated for Turkey to six. The German Parliament is expected to formally agree to the deployment on Friday. NATO foreign ministers endorsed Turkey’s request for the Patriots on Nov. 30.

A number of Syrian shells have landed in Turkish territory since the conflict in the Arab state began in March 2011. Turkey has condemned the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad, supported Syrian rebels and provided shelter to Syrian refugees. Ankara is particularly worried that Assad may get desperate enough to use chemical weapons.

GET MORE STORIES LIKE THIS

IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Email

Previous post

Carney Confirms: Boehner Must Confess

Next post

Boehner: No Chance Obama Would Give Bush Unlimited Borrowing Power

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.