Thursday, 2 August 2018

US Senate approves decision to delay delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey

Dafydd Phillips

The U.S. Senate announced Wednesday that the decision to delay delivery of the F-35 jets to Turkey had been approved by an 87-10 vote in the General Assembly.

The action will go into effect against Turkey upon approval by U.S. President Donald Trump, which is expected, given the administration's sanctions over Turkey's detainment of terror-linked U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson.

The decision on the F-35 jets came just hours after the U.S. Treasury announced sanctions on Minister of Justice Abdülhamit Gül and Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu in retaliation for Turkey's detainment of Brunson.

The Turkish defense industry has been playing an active role in the production of the fifth generation F-35 fighter jets and the first two jets of the 30 approved were delivered to Turkish officials last month.

The U.S. Senate previously tried to prohibit the sales of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets to Turkey, citing the purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia and detaining U.S. citizens as the reasons.

Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın said Tuesday regarding cooperation with the United States on F-35 fighter jets that it was "a multinational project."

"Turkey will take legal action if any measures are taken to prevent the delivery," he added, saying that Turkey has alternatives and is "not a country that can be easily dispensed with."

Apart from Turkey, the U.S., U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Norway and Denmark are also present as participant members of the F-35 fighter jet program.


Turkey may take legal steps if U.S. fails to deliver F-35 jets - Pres spox

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın on Monday said Turkey will take legal action if the delivery of U.S. F-35 fighter jets hits a hurdle.

Recalling that Turkey has so far paid about 900 million dollars in the project, Kalın warned that the project is multi-faceted and the Turkish pilots are continuing with their training for the new generation fighter jets in the U.S.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said that Ankara will resort to international arbitration  if the United States blocks the sale of F-35 fighter jets. 

Earlier this week however, Turkish kokpit website reported  on an official agreement document dating back to 2007, which states that appealing to international courts is not an option in disagreements pertaining to the Lockheed Martin-produced F-35 fighter jet deal.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) took delivery of the first of 30 Lockheed Martin F-35 single-engine fighters at a ceremony in the United States on Jun. 21. Since then Turkish pilots have been receiving training in the aircraft at Lockheed Martin’s headquarters.

If passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed by President Donald Trump, $716-billion National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal-year 2019 would require the Pentagon to submit a report to lawmakers within 90 days detailing its relationship with Ankara, the impact of cutting Turkey out of the F-35 manufacturing chain and Turkey’s decision to buy Russian S-400 air defence missiles. Only then could any more F-35s be sold to Turkey.

When asked about pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been jailed then transferred to the house house for terror charges, Kalin said on Tuesday, "everybody should respect the continuing judicial process. It is not right to give orders from outside to the Turkish judiciary and tell them "do this and do that.""

Kalin, when asked about flashpoint northern city of Syria, Manbij, said, "Manbij plan is going as it was planned. The U.S. also has to end its relations with terror organisations."

Manbij fell to Islamic State early in 2014 and became a hub for the group's foreign fighters until Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance mostly made up of YPG fighters, ousted the extreme jihadists from the city on August 2016 with the help of U.S.-led coalition air strikes.

U.S. forces have relied on the SDF ground forces to largely defeat ISIS and drive it out of most of northern and eastern Syria.

After the YPG captured Manbij from ISIS, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said it was an Arab city that should be cleared of the YPG and its allies. Turkey says the YPG is a terrorist organisation that is an extension of outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The United States and its allies do not list the YPG as a terrorist organisation. Source:

Related articles:

No comments:

Post a Comment