WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, the Pentagon issued a statement expressing the U.S.’s concern over Turkey’s recent testing of it’s newly acquired Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, saying that:
“We have been clear and firm in our position. Operating the S-400 system does not comply with Turkey’s obligations as an ally of the United States and NATO. We object to Turkey’s testing of this system, which has dire consequences for our security relationship.”
The U.S. has already suspended Turkey’s participation in the next generation F-35 jet fighter program in response to its purchasing of the S-400 system.
The U.S. Department of Defense announced that the U.S. Air Force decided to purchase eight of the F-35s intended to be delivered to Turkey by Lockheed Martin, a U.S. aerospace and defense company.
The fighter jets, worth $ 862 million, will be purchased by the U.S. Air Force through the modification of an existing contract with Lockheed Martin.
The F-35s were ready to be delivered to Turkey and Turkish pilots were being trained to use them in the U.S. However, following Turkey’s decision to purchase the purchase the S-400 from Russia, the training program was halted with the U.S. even threatening to impose sanctions on Turkey.
Now that the systems have been activated and tested, U.S. Congress will have to decide whether to follow through on the threat of sanctions.
Turkey’s rogue foreign policy actions have increasingly left it politically isolated.