June 13, 2019 | From Haartz and Reuters News
NATO member Turkey’s S-400 deal with Moscow has angered the United States, which has threatened to remove Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet programme unless Turkey pulls out of the deal….
The comments came days after the head of Russian state conglomerate Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said Moscow would start delivering S-400 missile systems to Turkey in two months, contradicting several Turkish officials who said the delivery could take place as soon as June….
In the meantime, training by Turkish pilots on F-35 fighter jets came to a halt at a U.S. air base in Arizona, U.S. officials said on Monday. If Turkey were removed from the F-35 program, it would be one of the most significant ruptures in recent history in the relationship with the United States, experts said.
But strains in U.S.-Turkish ties already extend beyond the F-35 to include conflicting strategy in Syria, Iran sanctions and the detention of U.S. consular staff in Turkey.
The showdown comes as the Russia-backed Syrian army escalates an assault on some Turkish-backed rebels near Turkey’s border. More broadly in the Middle East, the United States is ramping up pressure on Turkey and other nations to isolate Iran including blocking all Iranian oil exports.
Credit ratings agency Fitch warned on Tuesday that any U.S. sanctions on Turkey would have a “significant impact” on sentiment around the Turkish lira, which has sold off since late March in part due to the spat with Washington over the missile defence system. (Excerpts from Haaretz article via Reuters News)