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US Patriot batteries deployed to Poland amid Russia's war on Ukraine: Official

The US confirmed the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries to Poland on Wednesday as Russia keeps up its offensive in Ukraine.

A senior Defense Department official declined to identify where the batteries have been installed, and whether they are in operation, but said "they are manned and I leave it at that." The official briefed reporters on a conference call on condition of anonymity.

An Anadolu Agency team filmed the apparent deployment at Rzeszow airport, near the Polish border with Ukraine, however.

The decision to deploy the Patriots was made in consultation with, and at the invitation of, Poland, the official said, maintaining it is "defensive" in nature.

"It is a purely defensive deployment being conducted proactively to counter any potential threat to US and allied forces in NATO territory. It is 100% in keeping with the seriousness with which we take our Article Five commitments," the official added, referring to NATO's collective defense principle.

At least 516 civilians have been killed and 908 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war against its neighbor on Feb. 24, according to UN figures, with the real toll feared to be higher.


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