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Dutch Patriot missiles to leave for Turkey on Monday

English.news.cn   2013-01-04 20:05:29            

THE HAGUE, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Dutch Patriot missile defense systems will leave the Netherlands for Turkey On Jan. 7 to support the NATO operation Anatolian Protector, the Dutch Ministry of Defense confirmed to Xinhua on Friday.

The Patriot missile defense systems will be boarded for transport on Monday. "They will be transported by ships from the port of Eemshaven, so it will take a while," captain Paul Vledder, spokesman of Operations at the Ministry of Defense, told Xinhua. "The systems are expected to arrive in Turkey on Jan. 22."

On Jan. 8, around 30 Dutch and 20 German quartermasters will leave from Eindhoven airbase for Turkey. They will prepare the locations where the Patriot units will be installed.

"They will do logistics activities, preparing food, explore the systems locally and make sure that the troops will be able to immediately get to work after their arrival," Vledder explained.

The main force of about 270 Dutch troops will depart on Jan. 21. The costs of the mission, which will lasts up to one year, are estimated at 42 million euros (54 million U.S. dollars).

Turkey asked NATO to help protect its population and territory along the border with Syria against possible air attacks from their neighboring country in November last year.

The Netherlands, Germany and the United States all promised to send two Patriot systems. The Dutch are stationed in Adana, the Germans in Kahramanmaras and the Americans in Gaziantep.

It is the third time that the Netherlands sends it Patriot systems to Turkey. In 1991 and 2003 the Dutch Patriots were used to protect Turkey against possible attacks by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Editor: Yang Lina
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