US Patriot missiles begin arriving in Turkey
IZMIR, Turkey (AFP) - The United States deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey began on Saturday to help the country defend itself against any threat from neighbouring Syria which is in the throes of a deadly 21-month civil war.
"The deployment started early this morning into Incirlik" Air Base in southeastern Turkey, Peter Woodmansee, missile defence chief of the US European Command, told AFP.
"Several aircraft landed very early this morning with the advance party personnel from 3-2 Air Defence Artillery (ADA) - the Patriot unit - arriving as well."
The deployment comes as violence rages across Turkey's southern border, with the United Nations estimating that at least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011.