400 soldiers to be deployed to Turkey
BERLIN (AP) -- The German Parliament has approved the deployment of Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey to protect its NATO ally against possible spillover from Syria's civil war.
Lawmakers voted 461-86 Friday to approve the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries. The mandate allows Germany to deploy a maximum 400 soldiers through January 2014.
The Netherlands and the U.S. also will provide two batteries each of the U.S.-built air defense systems.
German officials have stressed that the mission is purely defensive and aimed solely at protecting Turkey. They say plans call for the missiles to be stationed at Kahramanmaras, about 60 miles from the Syrian border.
German military deployments abroad require parliamentary approval, typically granted on an annual basis.