U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a bill that blocks the transfer of F-35 new generation fighter jets to Turkey. The delivery will be unblocked if Ankara cancels the purchase of S-400 missile defense system from Russia. Turkey is at risk to have US sanctions imposed if it proceeds with the Russian deal.
According to spending bill signed by Trump on Friday, delivery of the jets to Turkey will be blocked until the U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense submit an update to the report regarding the purchase of Turkey of the S–400 missile defense system from the Russian Federation.
In earlier report to the Congress in late November, the Pentagon said Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile system could result in Ankara’s potential expulsion from the F-35 program. The same could be valid for acquisition of other weapons including Boeing Co.’s CH-47F Chinook helicopter and Lockheed’s F-16 fighter and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
On Mondya, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the S-400 purchase, saying that there was no turning back. The delivery is supposed to start in July 2019.
The Congressional bill requires the U.S. departments to include a detailed description of plans for the imposition of sanctions, if Turkey goes ahead with the S-400 systems. The same bill also blocks the sale of weapons to Erdogan’s security guards unless the guards charged with the assault of protestors in Washington DC in May 2017 have been brought to the court. – via ahval.com