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Ankara Looking for Alternative to US Weapons Over Delivery Delays – Turkish FM

© Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov / Go to the photo bankRussia deploys S-400 air defence missile system in Syria
Russia deploys S-400 air defence missile system in Syria - Sputnik International
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has explained the country's intentions to seek alternatives for US weapon deliveries.

"Because of delays of deliveries of the weapons that we are expecting from the United States, Turkey had to look for alternative variants," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu   said at a meeting of the parliament’s budget committee, as quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper,

Relations between Turkey and the United States have further deteriorated as a result of the arrest of Metin Topuz, an employee at the US Consulate General in Istanbul, for alleged links to the movement of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Ankara of masterminding the 2016 failed coup attempt and is residing in the US.

Recharging an S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft weapon system during the combat duty drills of the surface to air-misile regiment in the Moscow Region. - Sputnik International
Turkey Wants Swift Implementation of S-400 Deal With Russia - Erdogan
Washington, responding to the arrest of Topuz, suspended non-immigrant visa services at US diplomatic facilities in Turkey, with Ankara, in its turn, suspending visa applications for US citizens. Both countries announced the resumption of visa services on a "limited basis" earlier in November.

Deal on S-400 Supplies

Despite a strong opposition from NATO members, Moscow and Ankara reached an agreement on the delivery of S-400 systems to Turkey on September 12, 2017. Two weeks later, Russian presidential aide Vladimir Kozhin confirmed that Turkey had made an up-front payment for the air defense systems, adding that the delivery is scheduled for 2019. 

Speaking about the deal, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that Ankara had no other choice because due to the lack of modern air defense systems, the Turkish Air Force failed to destroy several dozens of missiles fired from the territory of neighboring Syria.

The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is Russia's next-generation mobile surface-to-air missile system equipped with three different types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range.

© SputnikThe S-400 Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS)
The S-400 Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS) - Sputnik International
The S-400 Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS)
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