Polish soldiers to join NATO mission in Turkey

Poland will send to Turkey a Bryza patrol and reconnaissance plane, as well as up to 80 soldiers and military personnel. Tomasz Koryszko/PAP

Up to 80 Polish soldiers will join a NATO mission in Turkey under a decision signed by President Andrzej Duda, head of the National Security Bureau (BBN) Paweł Soloch said on Wednesday.

The Polish military contingent will join the allied non-combat mission in Turkey launched in 2015. It will be the first Polish military mission in that country.

"We have positively responded to a recent appeal of the Turkish side to NATO allies in connection with the deteriorating security situation on the Syrian-Turkish border," Soloch told PAP.

He added that "supporting allies is an important element of President Andrzej Duda's security policy and part of strengthening of Poland's position in the international arena."

"This is not a combat mission. It consists in increasing the presence of airborne warning systems, the activity of naval forces and conducting reconnaissance activities," said Soloch.

Poland will send to Turkey a Bryza patrol and reconnaissance plane, as well as up to 80 soldiers and military personnel. The contingent will operate in the territory of Turkey, the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

In 2015, NATO decided to launch the Tailored Assurance Measures for Turkey mission in view of the situation at Turkey's borders. The mission consists of the additional presence of AWACS early warning and air control aircraft, increased activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, reconnaissance and intelligence activities and information sharing.

The BBN head also stated that, so far, the president has issued decisions on the launching of military contingents in Latvia, Sicily, Romania, Kuwait, and Iraq and, recently, in Lebanon as part of the UN peacekeeping operation.