Dutch Patriot missiles shipped out to Turkey

By the Associated Press | January 7, 2013 | 7:32 AM EST

Trucks leave the German military barracks in Vietow , eastern Germany on their way to Luebeck-Travemuende harbour, Sunday Jan. 6, 2013. Patriot missile batteries were being prepared for shipment from Germany to Turkey on Sunday as part of efforts meant to protect the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) ally from potential Syrian warheads. The US, Germany and the Netherlands are each deploying two batteries of the US-built defence system to boost Turkey's air defences against any spillover from Syria's nearly two-year civil war. (AP Photo/dapd/Jens Koehler)

DE PEEL AIR BASE, Netherlands (AP) — 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.