Turkey has begun readying for the deployment of surface-to-air missiles on its border with Syria.
US soldiers, who will man Patriot anti-missile batteries to protect Turkey from the spillover of Syria’s conflict started to arrive in the country on Friday.
Ankara formally asked NATO for the defence system last November to bolster its security along its 900 kilometres frontier, which has been repeatedly breached by the insurgency against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
Germany and the Netherlands are providing the missiles which will take several weeks to get to Turkey’s Incirlik air base.
A small advance team of German and Dutch soldiers will also fly to Turkey this week to prepare the ground for the Patriots which will be stationed near three south-eastern Turkish cities.