Germany to send fighter jets to Romania to support NATO, source says
PHOTO CAPTION: A German Eurofighter Typhoon takes off from the flight line at Tactical Air Force Wing 73, Laage, Germany, during exercise Air Defender 2023 (AD23), June 19, 2023. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Sarah M. McClanahan via U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will deploy four Eurofighter jets to Romania to support NATO's air policing mission from the end of November, a security source said, weeks after Russian attacks on Ukrainian Danube River ports.
The attacks, just hundreds of metres from the Romanian border, and drone debris found in Romania have increased security risks for the military alliance whose members have a mutual defence commitment.
In September, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called Russian strikes near the border "destabilising" even if there was no indication that Russia intended to hit a NATO member.
The security source said the first of up to 80 German soldiers to be hosted at a military base near Constanta will leave for Romania later on Thursday.
The German air force has supported NATO's air policing mission in Romania in the past. The alliance reinforced its military presence along the eastern flank following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)