THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans says the government has approved a NATO request to send two batteries of Patriot missile defense systems to Turkey, following in Germany's footsteps.
Parliament must sign off on Friday's Cabinet decision, but Prime Minister Mark Rutte's two-party coalition has a comfortable majority in the 150-seat lower house, so the vote is expected to be a formality.
The Dutch decision comes a day after Germany agreed to send two Patriot batteries and troops to Turkey's southern border with Syria at NATO's request.
The Western alliance approved sending the weapons to prevent cross-border attacks against Turkey after mortar rounds and shells from Syria killed five Turks.
Timmermans says 130 Dutch troops will also be deployed to operate the Patriot systems.