Germany ready to continue to support Turkish air force

Photo: Germany ready to continue to support Turkish air force / Turkey

The civil war in Syria continues to pose a threat to Turkey, and the German government will continue to give support to the Turkish air force as part of the NATO mission, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier Anadolu Agency reported

Speaking at a General Assembly meeting of the German Federal Parliament, Steinmeier said that Turkey is not only faced with a large influx of refugees, but a military threat as well.

"Turkey has requested from its NATO allies an extension of the deployment of Patriot missiles along the Syrian border...we are asking the Federal Parliament to approve this," Steinmeier said.

Steinmeier said the Patriots would not be used in a no-fly zone in Syria, and would be deployed under the management of NATO. The number of troops to be deployed will not exceed 400, he added.

The German FM also pointed out the significance of having the Syrian opposition attend the upcoming Geneva II conference. He said that all countries should do their part in reducing the tension in the country, and delivering humanitarian aid to people in need.

Germany's Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, also supported Turkey's bid, saying Germany is standing by its ally.

The German Federal Parliament decided in December 2012 to deploy two Patriot batteries and around 300 German troops until January 31, 2014. The German troops manning the Patriot batteries were deployed in the southeastern Turkish city of Kahramanmaras in January 2013.

A vote on the extension of the deployment is expected to take place at the end of January.

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