NATO has launched a new military base in Turkey’s western province of Izmir as the western alliance plans to deploy advanced Patriot missiles on Turkish border with Syria.
NATO’s Allied Land Command will “serve as a base for carrying out land operations when ordered by the alliance following the inspection, evaluation, preparation and standardization of NATO land forces,” Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported on Saturday.
“NATO has trusted Turkey at every step since its membership. Likewise, Turkey can always trust in NATO,” NATO supreme commander Adm. James Stavridis said during the opening ceremony of the military base on Friday.
NATO allies are expected to take several weeks to deploy Patriot surface-to-air missiles to defend Turkey from a spillover of Syria’s civil war, a NATO spokeswoman said on Friday.
Turkey formally asked for the Patriot missiles earlier this month after weeks of talks with NATO allies about how to shore up security on its 900-km (560-mile) border.
NATO activates Allied Land Command in Turkey
STUTTGART, Germany — NATO Allied Land Command, the alliance’s new headquarters in charge of land force planning, officially activated Friday at its new home in Izmir, Turkey.
“Turkey has been essential to the effectiveness and viability of NATO since it joined the Alliance because of its geography and its very large military contribution,” U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, the new commander of the headquarters, said during the ceremony in Izmir. His comments were made available by the headquarters public affairs office.
“It is not an accident that NATO decided to put Land Command here,” Hodges said, according to the remarks provided. “Rather, it represents recognition by all 28 Nations of Turkey’s strategic importance to NATO.”
The Patriot systems in Turkey will be controlled by the NATO – NATO spokesperson
The spokesperson stated that the higher leader of the NATO in Europe, the American Admiral James Starvidis, will have the highest authorities in the operations of the missiles, but he will give this responsibility to the military leaders of the NATO on the lands.
Lungescu added in a media conference “who will control the systems? The NATO of course, but Turkey is also a full member in the NATO”.
Syrian jets bomb rebels, Internet down for third day.
The Syrian Army forces continued their operations in Damascus countryside, after the communication and Internet broke yesterday after the Free Army insurgents bombed the Spatial Internet line in Duma.
Military sources said to Breaking News that the fighter jets of Syrian Air force hit several positions for the insurgents on the orchards of al-Sheifounia in Duma.
The sources added that more than100 gunmen were killed in the airstrikes of the Syrian Air force.
SANA news agency reports rebels shot down government #MiG fighter jet over Damascus Airport road
Internet, telecommunications cut off in Syria as shelling on Damascus continue