Germany has announced it is prepared to extend its deployment of Patriot missile batteries in Turkey if Ankara requires it.

The announcement on Monday came a day after German press reported that NATO allies had begun talks on halting the mission — which Ankara had requested in 2012 amid possible threats from Syria — at the end of 2014, following the removal of chemical weapons from its southern neighbor.

Ingo Gerhartz, the deputy spokesman of the German Defense Ministry, said: “If they would need us and if there would be a demand, we can extend the mission for another two years.” […]