World Bulletin / News Desk
The Patriot missiles deployment in Turkey with a mission of 400 German soldiers has been extended until January 31, 2015 but "the German parliament has yet to decide about it," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday.
Turkey still needs the support of NATO against a possible missile attack from Syrian ground, Seibert said at the government press conference, adding that the German mission in Turkey was still defensive.
The German government decided on Wednesday to extend the deployment of the Patriot missiles in Turkey as part of a NATO mission to protect the country against possible threats from neighboring Syria.
The government will seek authorization this month from the Federal Parliament, the Bundestag. Passage looks assured as Merkel’s conservative-left coalition government, sworn-in last month, enjoys an overwhelming parliamentary majority.
Germany’s previous conservative-liberal coalition government had decided in December 2012 to station two Patriot batteries in Turkey, following a request by Ankara and a decision by NATO’s North Atlantic Council. Authorizing the deployment on December 14, Germany’s Federal Parliament set January 31, 2014 as the mission's deadline.
The Patriot batteries provided by Germany have been stationed in Kahramanmaras since January 2013 under NATO command and control. The cost of the deployment, which is estimated to be around 25 million euros, is covered by Germany.
Under the NATO mission, two Dutch batteries are operating in the southern province of Adana, and two batteries from the United States are located in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2014, 09:15