Soldiers of the German armed forces Bundeswehr stand next to the Patriot system before the arrival of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel at a Turkish military base in Kahramanmaras. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/Files
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Turkey and the United States said Sunday that Washington would withdraw its Patriot missile batteries from the country in October after bolstering Ankara's air defences against threats from Syria's civil war.The NATO mandate for the mission will run out in October and will not be renewed, but the US is prepared to return Patriot assets and personnel to Turkey within one week if needed, a joint Turkish-US statement said. A US defence official stressed that the move by the US military was for the purpose of force modernisation.The US and Turkish officials have said their respective armies are currently working to coordinate logistics before starting full-scale operations against IS.
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