NATO said it will start activating its Patriot missile defense systems being deployed in Turkey along the border with Syria this weekend.
British Brigadier General Gary Deakin said Patriot missile batteries sent by the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands have reached Turkey and are currently being deployed in the south of the country.
He said NATO expects the Dutch batteries will be the first in place and ready for use this weekend.
All of the Patriot systems are expected to be fully operational at the end of the month.
Alliance member Turkey asked NATO in November to urgently deploy the Patriot missiles to beef up its air defenses amid fears about a spillover of the Syria conflict.
Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa