The advance command is to prepare for the deployment of "patriot" defensive missiles 100 kilometers from the turkish-syrian border. The equipment is to be delivered on 21. Arrive in the area of operations on january. In the port of lubeck-travemunde, around 300 vehicles and 130 containers were loaded onto a danish cargo ship on tuesday.
"The deployment is a clear signal of solidarity within nato," said the commander of the bundeswehr’s operations command, lieutenant general rainer glatz, at the farewell ceremony for the advance command in eindhoven. "We experienced nato’s solidarity in the cold war, and now we can give it to turkey as well."
A total of around 350 german soldiers and two missile defense systems will be deployed to the area of operations. The USA and the netherlands are also participating in the mission with two patriot squadrons each. The german contingent should be fully operational by the beginning of february at the latest.
The turkey mission is the first major new foreign mission of the bundeswehr since 2008. At that time, the decision was made to participate in the anti-piracy mission on the horn of africa. In total, more than 6000 federal soldiers are involved in foreign missions.
The turkey mission is purely defensive in nature. "We are going there to protect the turkish population and prevent an escalation of the conflict," said dutch general leo beulen in eindhoven. The range of the missiles is 68 kilometers. This means that they will not be able to reach syria, which is about 100 kilometers away, from their future base in kahramanmaras in southern turkey.
The bundestag approved the deployment of the weapons systems by a large majority in mid-december. Mandate initially limited to one year. The federal government estimates the cost at around 25 million euros.
So far, there has not been a single missile attack on turkey from syria. However, several people were killed by syrian shells. Turkey had then asked nato for help. The bundestag mandate also includes the deployment of german soldiers to help monitor turkish airspace with awacs reconnaissance aircraft.
The left was the only parliamentary group to vote unanimously against the mission. Defense policy spokesman paul schafer spoke on tuesday of a "hollow demonstration of covenant solidarity". The federal government is taking the risk that germany will be drawn deeper into the turkish-syrian conflict.
Markus kaim, head of the security policy research group at the science and politics foundation in berlin, told the dpa news agency: "in order to contain the syrian civil war and bring about a political settlement to this conflict, the patriot is making a significant contribution-deployment not to contribute at all. That’s why I think it’s more symbolic than strategic."