Netherlands Set to Send Patriot Missiles to Turkey-Syria Border
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (L) and his Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans arrive for the opening of the German-Dutch Forum 2012 at the German Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany, 27 November 2012. EPA/BGNES
The Cabinet of the Netherlands has approved the sending of NATO Patriot missiles to Turkey to defend its border against Syria.
The Dutch will send two Patriot units with a maximum of 360 troops to operate them following a request from fellow NATO member Turkey, national news agency ANP quoted Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans as saying on Friday.
A day earlier, on Thursday, the German government approved participation in a NATO mission to deploy Patriot missiles to help NATO member Turkey defend its border against Syria.
The foreign and defense ministries of Germany said in a joint statement Thursday that the mandate, which is expected to be presented to parliament early next week, would run to January 31, 2014, and that it can commit 400 troops.
They said the move was an "exclusively defensive measure, which as a means of military deterrent prevents the conflict inside Syria spreading to Turkey".
NATO on Tuesday approved Turkey's request for Patriot missiles to defend its border against Syria following a series of blunt warnings to Damascus not to use chemical weapons.
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