Spain replaces Netherlands in securing Turkey’s airspace

ADANA – Spain replaced the Netherlands Monday as part of a NATO mission to help defend Turkey’s airspace in the southern city of Adana, close to the volatile Syrian border.

Turkey’s 2nd Army Commander Gen. Adam Huduti appreciated the Dutch assistance to protect Adana’s 1.5 million people from possible attacks and he also welcomed Spain’s contribution to the security of Turkey’s airspace.

The Netherland’s outgoing commander said Dutch patriot anti-ballistic missiles have protected Adana around the clock for the past 24 months.

He also said he appreciates the Spanish team's help in taking over the task as the crisis near Turkey’s southern border continues.

NATO said Turkey had requested the alliance to assist in defending its population and territory back in 2012.

The request was prompted by two incidents earlier in 2012, namely the shooting down of a Turkish jet by Syrian forces and the killing of five Turkish civilians inside Turkey's territory by Syrian shelling, NATO said.

Three NATO allies agreed to provide air defense assistance – Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S.

Turkey has been part of NATO since 1952. 

NATO has 28 member states and each can call for consultations if the security of any other nation within the alliance is threatened.

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