Pedro Morenés informed journalists that Spain will replace Holland as part of a NATO initiative which isn’t part of the US-led United Nations offensive on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq that Spain will also contribute counterintelligence assistance to.
The 130 Spanish soldiers deployed to the southern Turkish city of Adana will look to guarantee the safety of the local population against “a possible air attack or ballistic missiles from its southern border” with Syria.
The military dispatch won’t however be fighting “on the ground” or taking part in “air raids” across the border in Turkey’s warn-torn neighbours of Iraq and Syria, Spanish national daily El País reported Spain’s Defence Minister as saying.
Six Patriot anti-ballistic missile launchers will be added to the four deployed by Germany and the United States after NATO ally Turkey called for aid to defend itself against possible attacks from Syria.
In related news, Spain's Foreign Minister announced on Tuesday his government plans to amend the country's penal code so that Spaniards joining foreign conflicts and radical Islamic groups such as ISIS can be prosecuted on terrorism charges.