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German soldiers survey southern Turkey to deploy Patriot missiles


11:27, January 14, 2013

ANKARA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- German soldiers are surveying Kahramanmaras province in southern Turkey for the deployment of Patriot air defense system, semi-official Anatolia news agency reported Saturday.

The systems will be deployed in Turkey as part of a NATO decision to support Turkey's air defense against a possible missile threat from neighboring Syria.

NATO members agreed to send six Patriot missile systems, two from Germany, two from the Netherlands and two from the United States, to its ally Turkey after shelling reportedly from Syrian army killed five Turkish citizens in October 2012.

A German delegation is currently visiting Gazi Military Post in Kahramanmaras.

In June last year, Syria reportedly shot down a Turkish warplane in the Mediterranean Sea, killing two crew members.

Fiercely criticizing the Assad regime in Syria, Turkey hosts Syrian opposition groups and shelters more than 150,000 Syrian refugees in southern and southeastern Turkey.

During the Gulf and Iraq wars of 1991 and 2003, NATO deployed Patriot missiles in Turkey but never used them.

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