Monday, 16 September, 2019

Why has Turkey pursued the controversial Russian S-400 missile deal?

Turkey US ultimatum over S-400s'not in spirit of alliance The US says Turkey's planned acquisition of Russia's S-400 missile system poses a threat to its F-35 jets
Deanna Wagner | 14 June, 2019, 07:55

He said: "Turkey won't reverse its decision with such letters".

The United States says Turkey's acquisition of the Russian system poses a threat to Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 stealth fighters, and has warned of potential USA sanctions if Ankara presses on with the deal. "I hope these systems will be delivered to our country next month", Erdogan said.

But Erdogan said Wednesday that his government would hold to account anyone who excluded Turkey from the F-35 program.

"This [S-400] system will be delivered to our country next month", Erdoğan added.

Turkey has already bought the Russian S-400 missile defense systems, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on June 12, stressing that it is a done deal.

Turkey and USA flags are seen in this picture illustration taken August 25, 2018.

Shanahan also warned that Ankara's purchase of the Russian system could hamper America's future relationship with Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member which has been a critical US partner and base for combat operations, including for the war in Syria.

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Washington has suggested that Ankara instead purchase the US -made Patriot air-defense system. "Won't we take necessary measures to defend our country?" he said.

Turkey's plan to buy the Russian air defense system has been a cause of tension within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance, which both the United States and Turkey belong to. He noted that Turkey is also a manufacturing partner in the program.

"We do not want to have the F-35 in close proximity to the S-400 over a period of time because of the ability to understand the profile of the F-35 on that particular piece of equipment", she said.

As well as these immediate responses, the S-400 deal threatens to undermine Turkey's role in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - a cornerstone of its security policy since it joined in 1952.

The Russian military said late on Wednesday that Moscow and Ankara had struck a deal for a complete cease-fire in the northwestern province of Idlib, the last stronghold of Syria's rebellion.

Erdogan also said he wanted to talk about the issue on the phone with the United States, before he meets President Donald Trump in Osaka, Japan at the end of this month.

The US has also threatened to hit Turkey with sanctions if it goes ahead with the deal.