German and Dutch Patriot units were transferred to bases in the southern provinces of Adana and ka raman maras Kahramanmaras on Tuesday (January 22) for deployment as part of a NATO operation to bolster Turkey's defense against potential air attacks from Syria.
The Netherlands, Germany and the United States are each sending two Patriot missile batteries and up to 400 troops to Turkey after Ankara asked for NATO's help to defend its 560 mile (900 kilometer) border.
Defense experts have said it would be a stretch for six Patriot batteries to defend the entire border with Syria. They are usually stationed to protect strategically important targets like big cities, military installations or key infrastructure.
The border has become a point of tension in the 21-month insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad, with Syrian government shells frequently landing inside Turkish territory.
Each truck-mounted Patriot battery consists of a command post, a radar to track incoming missiles, and up to eight launchers with up to eight Patriot missiles each.
The system can simultaneously track 50 targets and shoot down five. It takes about 85 soldiers to work one battery plus logistical support.
The Patriot batteries are expected to be fully functional by the end of January.
Damascus has called the move "provocative", in part because Turkey's missile request could be seen as a first step toward implementing a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace.