13 December 2012, 20:28

Turkey counts days till Dutch Patriot system arrival

Turkey counts days till Dutch Patriot system arrival

The Netherlands will send two of its Patriot missile defense systems to Turkey "as soon as possible," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday.

"Today I informed the NATO secretary general about our decision to send two Patriot systems to Turkey as soon as possible," Rutte said after talks with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

NATO approved the deployment of Patriot air defense systems in Turkey on Tuesday as a way to prevent potential Syrian cross-border missile or mortar attacks.

The Dutch government has approved the delivery of two Patriot missile batteries to Turkey to boost its air defenses along the border with Syria on December 8.

The Dutch Cabinet said it would commit a maximum of 360 troops to operate the Patriot systems under a yearlong NATO mandate.

The German government agreed to send two Patriot batteries and up to 400 troops to Turkey on December 7.

Voice of Russia, RIA

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