The Netherlands decides against extending deployment of Patriots in Turkey
The stationing of Dutch Patriot air defence systems in Turkey will not be extended a second time. These systems, which have also been contributed by Germany and the United States, were deployed to Turkey to defend it against possible air strikes from Syria. The current mandate expires in January, at which time the Patriots will be transported back to the Netherlands. The government has informed the House of Representatives about this decision today. The commander of the armed forces, General Tom Middendorp, has notified NATO.
The Dutch Patriots have been stationed in the Turkish city of Adana since January 2013. The mission was extended by a year at the end of 2013, until the end of January 2015. A further extension is not feasible, as round-the-clock usage has taxed the systems to the limit. This continual deployment has made it impossible to do any major maintenance work on site. In addition, the Patriot system is due for a major, planned modification, which must be carried out in the Netherlands. Furthermore, a second extension would place too great a burden on the associated service personnel, who have already been deployed on multiple occasions.
The Netherlands supports the continuation of NATO efforts to protect Turkey. The threat of armed attacks from Syrian territory has not gone away. Because the Netherlands has notified the alliance well in advance of its decision, NATO will be able to make the necessary arrangements. The Netherlands will continue to work closely with its NATO ally Turkey in numerous other areas.