facebook
twitter
search
search

U.S. troops in Turkey on defense mission

Jan. 4, 2013 at 7:24 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. troops arrived in Turkey as part of a coalition that will operate Patriot missile defense batteries near the Syrian border, officials said.

The troops arrived in the southeastern province of Gaziantep Thursday and planned to survey the site where the system was to be installed Friday, Today's Zaman reported.

The Syrian government had launched Scud missiles at its cities near the Turkish border, prompting Turkey to ask NATO for the missile batteries to defend itself against a possible attack by its neighbor, engaged in a civil war since March 2011. The United States, Germany and the Netherlands deployed Patriot air-defense missiles to the border region to intercept any Syrian ballistic missiles.

The missiles and troops will be under NATO control but the missiles will be operated by U.S. forces, CNN reported.

"We've made very clear to them that were going to protect countries in this region," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last month. "We have to act to do what we have to do to make sure that we defend ourselves and make sure that Turkey can defend itself."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Topics: Leon Panetta
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Pilot in Taiwan plane crash shut down wrong engine, black boxes show
Texas police body cam video shows fatal shooting
Law enforcement gives 'all clear' after U.S. Navy Yard lockdown
North Korea seeks help from Iran in battle against drought
Talks with NKorea come with conditions, says White House advisor