World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S. and Germany decided not renew their deployment of Patriot air and missile defense units in Turkey.
According to a joint statement issued on Sunday by the U.S. and Turkish governments, the units "will not be renewed beyond the end of the current rotation. Other relevant [NATO] Allies have also been consulted."
This decision "followed a U.S. review of global missile defense posture and the batteries will be redeployed to the United States for critical modernization upgrades.
"If needed, the United States is prepared to return Patriot assets and personnel to Turkey within one week," the statement added.
U.S. Navy multi-role Aegis ships will continue to be present in the eastern Mediterranean, the two governments said.
Meanwhile, German Defence Minister announced it is going to pull out its missile-defense batteries from Turkey as well.
"Low ballistic missile threat" and the "high costs of the mission" are given as reasons for the decision.
The defense ministry confirmed that the contingent of the the German army, taking part in a NATO operation called Active Fence Turkey, along with its Patriot missile systems, would be withdrawn from the Turkish border by the end of 2015.
In a statement published on the German Defense Ministry’s website, the ministry confirms it will not extend the mandate to protect the southern Turkish border beyond the two and a half years of service it has already rendered.
"Together with our NATO partners we have defended the Turkish people against possible missile attacks from Syria," German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said. "Our Patriot missiles have successfully carried out their mission," she added.
Both German and U.S. missile batteries have been in Turkey as part of a NATO mission since 2013.Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ağustos 2015, 11:00