U.S. wants to expand military cooperation with Turkey

WASHINGTON – In a telephone conversation with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin expressed support for expanding military cooperation between the two countries, including in the fight against terrorism, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing a statement from the Pentagon.

“Defense Minister Lloyd Austin spoke by telephone with Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar to discuss ways to expand and strengthen long-standing defense ties and exchange views on regional issues, including the general threat of terrorism,” the statement said. in a Pentagon statement.

He also noted that Austin “reaffirmed that the United States attaches great importance to defense relations with Turkey, as evidenced by recent cooperation between the two countries on Afghanistan.”

Erdogan seeks Russian assistance against the Kurds in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, called on Moscow to help prevent attacks by Kurdish paramilitaries against the Turkish military in northern Syria, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Bloomberg report on Tuesday.

“Ankara wants Russia to prevent attacks on Turkish soldiers by members of the Kurdish paramilitaries operating in territories controlled by Russian forces or Moscow-backed Syrian forces,” said a Turkish official who wished to remain anonymous about Erdogan’s priorities at the Sochi meeting, the agency writes regarding sources.

In particular, we are talking about the fact that the fighters of the Syrian Kurdish Self-Defense Forces (YPG) must leave the cities of Manbij and Tell Rifat, as agreed by Turkey and Russia in 2019, the agency notes, citing a source.

Turkey: ‘We don’t need US permission to buy more S-400s’

In March this year, the Turkish MP Murat Baibatur told his country’s parliament that Turkey is negotiating the purchase and delivery of the second batch of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. “Turkey is an independent state and does not want permission from the United States or others,” he said. Murat Baibatur is a member of the Turkish Parliamentary Committee on Security and Defense.

Baibatur stressed that Turkey would not “back down” from the decision “about the Russian air defense system.” He does not see the US position as “correct and tactful,” using the “language of threats” against a NATO member “whose army is considered the second largest.” Baibatur said that “every state has to consider its interests and the interests of its citizens.” According to the Turkish politician, the United States’ dialogue on the S-400 issue will continue, but Ankara will act following its interests.

We remind you that the United States again asked Turkey to give up the Russian S-400. US Ambassador to Turkey David Sutherfield said the only way Ankara could resolve its differences with Washington was to abandon Russia’s air defense systems.

“Burnt bridges”

Ever since Turkey announced that it was negotiating with Russia for the supply of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, relations between the United States and Turkey have deteriorated, not only in defense and security.

The United States has repeatedly threatened Turkey with dropping the country out of a program to develop a fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet. He did so last year after Ankara flatly refused to abandon the “Russian deal.”

These events put the Turkish Air Force in a crisis with an unknown future. Currently, the most modern fighter is the F-16, and a higher-class fighter jet is not expected to appear soon to meet Turkish requirements.

Turkey’s hope is a “miracle” to catch up with its next-generation TAI TF-X fighter. However, the economic situation and the Turkish lira’s collapse have cut the budget for 2021, and its fate for the coming years is still unknown.

Russia hopes to successfully “wedge” between the bad Turkish-American relations and offers a solution to Turkey by offering its Su-57. The chances of this happening are slim, but so were the circumstances of the S-400 settling on Turkish soil.

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