NATO’s Mobile Force Aircraft Arrive in Turkey With AM-Gulf Rdp, Bjt
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ Jets from a special NATO unit arrived in Turkey on Sunday to bolster its defenses against possible attack by neighboring Iraq, the Turkish military announced Sunday.
Turkey had requested the 46-jet force ahead of Jan. 15, the U.N. deadline for Iraq to pull out of Kuwait or risk attack by a U.S.-led multinational force in the gulf region.
The aircraft landed at their designated locations, the semi-official Anatolia news agency quoted the Turkish general staff as saying. The announcement did not identify the aircraft or the destinations or say how many there were.
Earlier Sunday, 18 German Alpha jets, six Italian air force reconnaissance aircraft and 18 Belgian air force fighter-bombers left their respective countries for Turkey as part of NATO’s Mobile Force.
Anatolia said the aircraft that left Belgium would arrive Monday after staying overnight at a location outside Turkey. It did not say where.
Military authorities refused to elaborate.
Reliable sources who refused to be identified said the NATO planes landed Sunday at Balikesir, 330 miles west of the capital.
Turkey has about 100,000 troops along its border with Iraq.
The special North Atlantic Treaty Organization force is considered a deterrent, armed with non-nuclear weapons.