US troops arrive in Turkey to set up Patriot missiles

Two Patriot missile batteries and 400 U.S. personnel will be stationed in Turkey as a NATO protection measure against any spillover from the Syrian civil war.

ANKARA, Turkey — The U.S. military says troops are arriving in Turkey to man Patriot missiles there.

Germany, the Netherlands and the United States are deploying two Patriot surface-to-air batteries, each to boost NATO ally Turkey's air defenses against any possible spillover from Syria's civil war.

The U.S. European Command said Friday that U.S. personnel and equipment had started arriving at Turkey's southern Incirlik Air Base. Some 400 personnel and equipment will be airlifted to Turkey over the coming days, while additional equipment would reach Turkey by sea later in January.

More than 1,000 troops from the three nations are to be based in Turkey to operate the batteries. NATO says the Americans will be based at Gaziantep, 50 km (31 miles) north of Syria.

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