Italy has extended the term of its defense system deployed in southern Kahramanmaraş province in the face of threats directed towards Turkey from neighboring Syria, reports said yesterday.
The air defense system and 25 military personnel were deployed in Kahramanmaraş as part of NATO's package of assistance measures in June 2016. The main objective of the deployment was to contribute to NATO's efforts to increase defense measures for Turkey.
The Italian air defense system in Kahramanmaraş replaced the German Patriot missile systems that finished their three-year, mandated mission.
Turkey has been subjected to various threats from war-torn Syria since civil war erupted in the neighboring country in 2011; then Turkey began calling on its NATO allies to provide more support to face increasing threats to the country's national security as terrorist groups such as Daesh and the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) gained control of some Syrian territory.
In late 2015, NATO allies agreed on a package of Tailored Assurance Measures for Turkey (TAMT) to respon
d to the increasing security challenges on Turkey's borders. These measures include an additional AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) surveillance aircraft presence in the region, increased maritime activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities and information sharing.