Germany extending air-defense mission in Turkey on Syrian border for another year

The German government says it plans to extend for another year its troops' participation in a NATO air-defense mission in Turkey operating Patriot missile batteries near the Syrian border.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet on Wednesday approved plans to extend Germany's participation in the so-called "Active Fence" mission to January 31, 2016, with a maximum of 400 soldiers. Some 240 German soldiers are currently deployed.

The decision must be approved by parliament.

Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. each committed two Patriot batteries to help guard the Turkish border in January 2013. Since then other NATO nations have contributed personnel as well.

Germany says the Netherlands is expected to pull out its batteries at the end of the month, but Spain is planning to add one.