ANKARA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. military personnel for a Patriot missile battery stationed in Turkey's southeastern Gaziantep province was replaced on Saturday, Dogan News Agency reported.
The military personnel departed Gaziantep for Iskenderun Port of Hatay province in southern Turkey with their military vehicles in order to go back to their country, according to the report.
Turkey, a NATO member, appealed to the alliance in 2012 for security of its border against threats from neighboring Syria. The United States then deployed Patriot missile battery in Gaziantep, while the Netherlands and Germany sent batteries in Turkey's another two southern provinces, Adana and Kahramanmaras.
Turkey's request for protection against its conflict-hit neighbor came after a mortar bomb fired from the Syrian territory killed five Turkish civilians in the border town of Akcakale in October in 2012.
The NATO decision is for one year term, which ends by 2014. Ankara has asked the alliance to extend the deployment of the Patriots for another year. NATO allies backed keeping Patriot missiles in Turkey, while Germany and the Netherlands are waiting for a parliamentary approval.
U.S. replaces Patriot missile battery in Turkey
ANKARA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. will replace a Patriot missile battery deployed to Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep for the maintenance of old battery, said a Turkish military statement Monday.
A U.S. ship carrying the new Patriot battery has arrived in southern Iskenderun Port of Turkey on Nov. 10, said the statement released by the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, adding that the new materials were dispatched to Gaziantep, where the U.S. Patriots were deployed. Full story