German, 1 Dhulqo’dah 1436/16 August 2015 (MINA) – German Defence Minister announced it is going to pull out its missile-defense batteries from Turkey.
“Low ballistic missile threat” as well as the “high costs of the mission” are given as reasons for that decision.
The defense ministry confirmed that the contingent of the the German army, taking part in a NATO operation called Active Fence Turkey, along with its Patriot missile systems, would be withdrawn from the Turkish border by the end of 2015.
In a statement published on the German Defense Ministry’s website, the ministry confirms it will not extend the mandate to protect the southern Turkish border beyond the two and a half years of service it has already rendered, Wourldbulletine quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)
The German force currently stationed on Turkey’s border with Syria consists of 250 soldiers maintaining two “Patriot” missile-defense systems, including missile specialists, combat support personnel, and NBC protection forces.
The press-release also praises the success of the mission, citing German Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen.
“Together with our NATO partners we have defended the Turkish people against possible missile attacks from Syria,” she said in the statement. “Our Patriot missiles have successfully carried out their mission.”
The NATO force is deployed near the city of Kahramanmaraş (southern Turkey), a hundred kilometers from the Syrian border. Some 400 Germans have been serving there since January 2013.
The Active Fence Turkey operation was launched in December 2012 after Turkey requested assistance from NATO to counter potential missile strikes from Syria, which is mired in a civil war. Apart from Germany, the US, the Netherlands, and since 2015, Spain, have taken part in the mission. (T/Imt/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)