13:25 GMT +322 July 2019
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    NATO Builds Up Air Forces, Missile Defense, Naval Presence in Turkey

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    NATO has build up its air forces, missile defense and naval presence in Turkey, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Stoltenberg is paying a two-day visit to Turkey. It is the NATO chief's first visit to the country following the coup attempt in the country in July.

    "Just as you stand with NATO, NATO stands with Turkey. We have increased our military presence in Turkey with more assets in the air, naval assets and also defensive missile defense systems deployed in Turkey," Stoltenberg told journalists in Turkey.

    The Incirlik airbase in Turkey hosts jets from the US, Germany, the UK, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who are participating in the US-led coalition against Daesh.

    Stoltenberg welcomed the increased efforts of Turkey and other allies in fighting Daesh terrorist group in Syria.

    Stoltenberg also noted "the importance of training local forces" in countries where extremist groups are present.

    "I believe that it is better to train local forces enabling them to fight terrorism, enabling them to stabilize on country instead of NATO deploying large number of combat troops in combat operations," the NATO chief added.

    Turkey's Euphrates Shield operation started on August 24 in the northern Syrian city of Jarablus and was backed by a US-led international coalition. At the time, nearly 40 Turkish tanks backed by some 1,000 Syrian rebel forces entered Syria.


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