Polish soldiers to participate in NATO mission in Turkey

President Andrzej Duda signed a directive on the deployment of the Polish Military Contingent in Turkey amassing up to 80 people, the head of the National Security Bureau (BBN) Paweł Soloch said on Wednesday.

Polish soldiers will be part of the NATO mission, present in Turkey since 2015.

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

He stressed that NATO's mission in Turkey was not of a military nature; it will include the increased presence of aviation warning systems, the activity of naval forces and conducting reconnaissance. Along with up to 80 soldiers and military personnel, a Bryza patrol and reconnaissance plane will be attached to the contingent.

Mr Soloch pointed out that "supporting allies is an important element of President Andrzej Duda's security policy aimed at strengthening the Polish position on the international arena."

"So far, the President has made decisions to send military contingents to Latvia, Sicily, Romania, Kuwait, Iraq and recently Lebanon as part of the UN peacekeeping operation", the BBN head recalled

"A perfect example of the importance President Duda places on cooperation with allies on missions is the fact that during his first term in office he personally visited as many as six Polish contingents", he added.

Their participation in the Tailored Assurance Measures for Turkey (TAMT) will be the first such operation by the Polish armed forces in Turkey.