US extends Patriot Missiles in Turkey
The US has decided to extend its deployment of two Patriot Missile batteries inside Turkey for up to a year, Anadolu Agency reported.
The announcement follows a bilateral meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
During the meeting, America's defense chief informed Davutoglu that Washington has decided to extend the deployment upon the request of the Turkish government, according to a readout of the meeting provided by the Pentagon.
The deployment will remain purely defensive.
"This renewal of the Patriot deployment is and will remain defensive only and represents a concrete demonstration of alliance solidarity and resolve," said the readout.
The two leaders also touched upon the crisis in neighboring Syria.
"Secretary Hagel appreciated the opportunity to share insights on regional security matters including the ongoing crisis in Syria and the imperative to eliminate the regime's chemical weapons and achieve a political transition," said the readout.
Hagel also lauded Turkey's efforts to provide the Syrian people with humanitarian aid.