09:07 GMT03 April 2020
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    The statement comes just two days after a Pentagon spokesman warned Turkey of “grave consequences” if Ankara went ahead with the purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system.

    The United States is crossing the line over comments regarding Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 missile defence systems from Russia, warned Ömer Çelik, a spokesman for the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party.

    READ MORE: S-400 Purchase Doesn't Mean Ankara Has Rejected US' Patriots – Turkish VP

    During a news conference, Çelik said that Ankara decided to proceed with the acquisition of the Russian-made defence system after Washington failed to respond to Turkey’s request for the Patriot missile system amid the Syrian crisis.

    “NATO allies should have supported Turkey, whose air space became vulnerable”, Çelik said, adding that the country was left with no other choice but to buy the S-400s.

    At the same time, he emphasised that the US did not oppose the purchase of Russian-made missile systems by other NATO members in the past.

    “Why do they accept Greece having the S-300 system?” Çelik added, pointing out the double standard used against Turkey.

    The comments came on the heels of remarks by Pentagon spokesperson Charlie Summers, who warned Turkey against buying the S-400s.

    “If Turkey takes the S-400, there would be grave consequences in terms of our military relationship, and the Patriots and the F-35s. They will not get the F-35s if they take the S-400”.

    Shortly after, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded that the S-400s “are not connected to the security of NATO, the United States or the F-35 in any way”.

    READ MORE: Turkey to Face 'Grave Consequences' for Acquisition of Russian S-400 — Pentagon

    He also voiced hope that the issues in US-Turkey relations could be “resolved in the same way as it has on other issues”.

    Last week, a senior Pentagon general called on lawmakers from the Senate Armed Services Committee to block US deliveries of the F-35 fighter jets to Ankara if it doesn’t give up on the acquisition of S-400s. He also warned that the Russian missile defence system posed a “problem to all our aircraft, but specifically the F-35”.

    In the meantime, Bloomberg reported last week that Turkey had rejected the US’ $3.5 billion offer on the Patriot PAC-3 air defence systems in favour of the S-400s. The Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a potential deal last December.

    Washington has on a multitude of occasions threatened to introduce sanctions against Ankara under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a 2017 law drafted in response to Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election, if Turkey purchased S-400s.

    READ MORE: S-400 Delivery Not Connected to Security of NATO, US, F-35 in Any Way – Erdogan

    The Pentagon has been concerned by the possibility of Ankara acquiring Russian air defence systems along with F-35s, allegedly providing Russian experts with key insights into the radar’s cross sections, flight profile and other sensitive data related to the jet’s technology.


    S-400 Delivery Not Connected to Security of NATO, US, F-35 in Any Way – Erdogan
    Turkey May Let Russia’s S-400 Destroy US’ F-35 Project ‘From Within’ – Report
    Turkey's S-400 Deal Is 'Tool of Political Pendulum' Between US, Russia – Scholar
    S-400 Missile Defence Systems Will Start to be Installed in Turkey in October
    purchase, air defence system, missile defence, Patriot missile, f-35, S-400, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, United States, Russia, Turkey
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