News Blog

Dutch (and German?) Patriots in Turkey

(credit: Dutch Ministry of Defence)

(BRUSSELS2) The Netherlands could send Patriot air defense batteries to Turkey as part of a NATO mission to defend the ally against missile attacks from Syria. “ NATO is not designed to do nothing”, declared the new Minister of Defense, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on Sunday in Brussels on the eve of the EU Council of Ministers, as reported by my colleague on his blog. Turkey has not yet made a formal request. But she could clarify and formalize her request this Monday during a meeting at NATO.

Germany and the Netherlands are the only ones to have the Patriot system (along with the USA); they had already been deployed in Turkey during the Gulf War in 1991 and in 2003, to prevent attacks against Iraq. But discussions are heated in Germany where the left-wing opposition fears an escalation.

The Bundeswehr could engage 2 squadrons of Patriot, that is to say approximately 170 men according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. And as well as my colleague Wiegold specifies, it could be the Sanitz Anti-Aircraft Missile Group 21 (FlaRakGrp 21) which could be assigned to this task; being assigned in support of NRF 2012. A Dutch and American team has already visited Diyarbakir Air Base (in Turkey) to study the possible location for Patriot batteries, according to Turkish newspaper Milliyet. 

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).