Published: Sat, March 09, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Turkey dismisses USA warning over S-400 Russian missiles

Turkey dismisses USA warning over S-400 Russian missiles

This is a huge decision for Turkey and we've continuously - I've talked to them personally as...all of our leadership has...[and] I would hope that they would reconsider this one decision on S-400, one system, [or] potentially forfeit numerous other systems...that we provide them.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says "no one should attempt to tame Turkey" with threats on trade.

Turkey plans to buy 100 joint strike fighters over the course of the program, and its first F-35 pilots have already begun training alongside USA pilots at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

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

Erdogan also struck back at Washington's decision to withdraw trade privileges from Turkey, saying that "no one should try to make us toe the line with such measures". He has previously criticized Ankara for not doing more in the fight against the Islamic State group, and was particularly vocal about Turkey's detention of an American pastor released last year.

When asked about Turkey's role in the production of key F-35 components, Scaparrotti suggested that it was dispensable, and stressed that the USA would reconsider the sale of other weapons systems to Turkey.

In December, the State Department approved the sale of a $3.5 billion US Patriot missile defense system to Turkey.

"If Turkey takes the S-400, there would be grave effect in terms of our military relationship, and the Patriots and the F-35s", Summers was quoted as saying by Defense News.

Backed forces holding 2,000 ISIS fighters in Syria
Around 90 people, mostly children under the age of five, have died en route to the shelter or shortly after arriving, OCHA said. Syria's Kurds hold hundreds of foreign jihadists and IS sympathisers, whose governments have been reluctant to take them back.

"We're not a slave, we're independent", Erdogan said.

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

Washington fears the sophisticated radar of the S-400 system could compromise the F-35 technology, which was developed to elude Russian-made systems.

Another major rift with the United States is over Washington's support for a Syrian Kurdish force that Ankara regards as a mortal enemy.

Washington allied with the Kurdish YPG militia in the battle against Islamic State, and wants an worldwide armed presence stationed in a future safe zone to protect them from Turkey.

Despite the grievances, Erdogan also struck an optimistic note by speaking favourably about Trump.

"I don't find any of these serious", Erdogan said.

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