NATO sources confirmed on Monday its decision to take measures to help its Turkish ally by securing its airspace. The measures comprised of deploying the early warning AWACS aircraft system to Turkey and reinforcing the country’s airspace monitoring, as well as intensifying its naval presence in the Mediterranean.
Moreover, a NATO official mentioned in a letter to Asharq Al-Awsat that the organization has decided to employ the measures on Dec. 18, it also mentioned that discussions about defense strategies for Turkey have been ongoing for a while now.
Furthermore, NATO welcomed Spain’s decision to expand the Patriot Missile Long-Range Air-Defense System on Turkish grounds by 2016.
The German government said NATO’s AWACS aircraft would be temporarily moved to a Turkish air base in the central Anatolian province of Konya.
The move will denote the relocation of the “Boeing E-3” Sentry aircraft from Germany’s Geilenkirchen Air Base to Konya Air Base.
NATO plans to deploy AWACS surveillance planes to Turkey as part of a package of reassurance measures recently agreed by the alliance, AP reported.
Defense Ministry spokesman Boris Nannt stressed Monday that the deployment will be a “purely defensive measure” and said military planning is currently underway. Officials didn’t give details on how many planes or crew will be deployed, or when, to the Turkish city of Konya.
With all that said the organization also expects other countries to contribute to supporting Turkish airspace defense “through dual cooperation.”
In another development, Turkish Presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, announced on Monday that the Turkish government averted electronic attacks that targeted their governmental websites alongside a number of banks.
Meanwhile, Kalin told the press that the government is looking into the source of the attacks, others hinted on the attacks being a response on the Russian sukhoi downing.
Diplomats mentioned that the support package is partly intended to avoid other incidents of downing Russian planes.
“We have agreed on a package of assurance measures for Turkey in view of the volatile situation in the region,”NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters, although he avoided any reference to Russia’s military involvement in Syria and its air incursions