Turkey to Face 'Grave Consequences' for Acquisition of Russian S-400 - Pentagon

Geraldine Edwards
March 9, 2019

It was the latest in a series of warnings the U.S. has made to Turkey over its plans to buy the S-400.

"As for the S-400, the deal is done, and it is out of the question to go backwards.and perhaps after the S-400, we will move onto the S-500", Erdogan told Kanal-24 television on March 6.

And Friday morning, Turkish National Defense Minister Akar said the USA not handing over F-35s to Turkey would be illegal and expressed his belief a solution could be found.

Summers said those consequences would include the USA not allowing Turkey to acquire the F-35 jet and the Patriot missile defense system. "They must not give these weapons to the terrorists", Erdogan said, referring to Kurdish allies of the United States, as quoted by Hurriyet Daily.

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"The S-400 is a done deal, there can be no turning back".

"We will move toward a joint production".

Starting this October, the S-400 systems will be installed in Turkey, he said, adding that the Turkish Air Forces are studying where to deploy the missiles.

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To keep the Kurdish fighters away from its frontier, Turkey wants to secure a Syria safe zone along its border rather see that job done by a multinational force.

Turkey has particular ambitions for its neighbor Syria and the Kurdish fighters the USA backed as a principal strategy in fighting the Islamic State group on the ground.

In late December previous year, the U.S. State Department authorized a proposed Foreign Military Sale to Turkey for the Patriot Missile system and related support and equipment worth $3.5 billion. The president has made arms sales a signature element of his foreign policy with allied countries, such as Saudi Arabia.

"If Turkey takes the S-400s there will be grave consequences", acting chief Pentagon spokesperson Charles Summers told reporters Friday, saying it would undermine America's military relationship with Ankara.

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The issue has aggravated already souring relations with Ankara, including tensions over the war in Syria. But skepticism in Turkey toward American partners continues to grow. "The answer is clear: Turkey can not trust and depend on the USA under these circumstances".

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