Jan. 7 - The Netherlands sends two Patriot air defence units for deployment on Turkish border. Jessica Gray reports.
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A military convoy leaves a Netherlands base.
The trucks are carrying two Patriot air defence missile units to be deployed in Turkey.
The batteries are designed to track and shoot down any potential missiles from Syria along the 900 kilometre border the nations share.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) COMMANDER OF THE DUTCH ARMED FORCES GENERAL TOM MIDDENDORP SAYING:
"The urgency is not for us, the urgency is for the Turkish population in the area. If you look at the threat, it's not an immediate threat, but it's a threat that could happen and that is why the Turkish government has asked NATO to provide this assistance and in close cooperation with the Turkish government we came to this time schedule to deploy this unit as soon as possible."
The missiles are scheduled to arrive in Turkey on January 22 as part of a NATO agreement to help Turkey protect its citizens from the ongoing violence in neigbouring Syria.
Dutch and German officers are expected to man the batteries along with U.S. troops already in Turkey.
In the last few months, Turkey has repeatedly scrambled jets and targeted Syrian forces in response to mortars and shells landing in its territory .
Turkey formally requested the units in November and got approval for six defence batteries from the Netherlands, the U.S. and Germany.
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