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Dutch Patriot missiles shipped out to Turkey

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January 7, 2013 06:58 AM EST | AP


DE PEEL AIR BASE, Netherlands — The Dutch military is shipping its Patriot missiles to fellow NATO member Turkey to boost its air defenses amid the escalating war in neighboring Syria.

The two Dutch batteries are part of a NATO contingent of Patriot missiles that intercept incoming ballistic missiles. Two U.S. and two German batteries are also being deployed to other parts of southern Turkey.

Dutch defense chief Gen. Tom Middendorp said Monday the missiles will remain in Turkey for a year.

The Patriots are being transported by sea to Turkey. They are scheduled to become operational by the end of this month.