Turkey will use S-400 missile system, NATO’s batteries withdrew from Turkish border

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ANKARA, (BM) – Turkey bought Russian S-400 missile defense systems to use them, and has not pledged to anyone that they would go unused, according to the Turkey’s foreign minister statement on November last year.

Read more: Second Batch of Russian S-400 Missile Defense Systems to Turkey May Be Delayed

“Turkey has no commitment to anyone that we will not install or use the Russian S-400s. We bought them because we needed an air defense system,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters.

According to Mevlut Cavusoglu main reason Turkey to buy S-400 missile defense system is that some NATO partners withdrew their missile defense system from border of his country.

“Late this year [2019] Italy is set to remove its SAMP-T missile defense system from southeastern Turkey. The U.S., Dutch and German [governments] withdrew Patriot batteries from our border in 2013. The Spaniards extended theirs. Turkey has only one air defense system battery now,” Cavusoglu stated.

Ankara received its Russian S-400 missiles in the middle of 2019.

The tension between Turkey and US before and after S-400’s purchase

Erdogan and the United States have been at odds for years. The Turkish President said the US had protected Fethullah Gulen, the cleric (and Pennsylvania resident) he blames for an attempted coup in 2016. Erdogan declared: “The coup plotter is in your country. You are nurturing him there. It’s out in the open.”

Read more: Donald Trump Pleads Turkey Not to Activate the S-400 Missile Defence System

Erdogan was also infuriated by the US alliance with the Kurdish militia in Syria — the YPG — in the campaign to defeat ISIS. Turkey regards the YPG as a terrorist group affiliated with the PKK, which has fought the Turkish state for more than three decades.

When the US considered training a mainly Kurdish contingent to guard the Turkish border last year, Erdogan tweeted: “The US has now acknowledged that it has established a terror army along our borders.”

The tension persists. The two sides can’t agree on the establishment of a safe zone for refugees inside northern Syria.

“There are some indications” that Turkey is preparing for an “incursion” into Syria, but the intelligence is not yet definitive, one U.S. official said.

There was also tension over the Saudi response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi — and over what was perceived as an ambivalent approach in Ankara to confronting ISIS, especially in 2015-16. Sporadic threats by Turkey to close the US airbase at Incirlik have been another irritant.

But all these difficulties pale in comparison to the fallout from the S-400 deal. Even before the first deliveries, the US warned that Turkey would be suspended from the F-35 combat jet program and stopped training its pilots.

Read more: U.S Allows Turkey to Rejoin the F-35 Program Under Certain Conditions

Erdogan has said that excluding Turkey from the F-35 program would be “robbery,” since Ankara has already invested more than $1 billion in the consortium building it. Altogether it planned to buy 116 planes.

The US also threatened new sanctions should Turkey complete the S-400 contract, prompting Erdogan to claim on the sidelines of the G-20 summit: “It is out of question between two strategic partners. I think it should not happen.”

NATO is also concerned that the S-400 deal will affect Turkey’s ability to cooperate with other alliance members. “Interoperability of our armed forces is fundamental to NATO for the conduct of our operations and missions,” said one official.

Another red line

However, Erdogan made it clear that he had no intention of complying with anyone. Just days after his visit to the White House, the Turkish Army tested the S-400 system in conjunction with US-made F-16s.

Read more: Joint testing of F-16 fighter jet and S-400 defense system near Ankara (video)

Video materials appeared on the network showing the testing of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system in Turkey. We are talking about a complex that was partially acquired from Russia with the funds allocated by Moscow.

Testing of S-400 air defense systems is carried out using F-16 and F-4E aircraft. We are talking about tests of radar systems. S-400 radars were installed on the territory of the military base of Kahramankazan (Myurt) (formerly Akynchy) in the Ankara region. First of all, the air defense base is covering the capital and the airport.

Turkey has crossed ‘another red line’ by starting tests of the radar detection system it purchased from Russia as part of the S-400 missile defense system, US Senator for Maryland Christopher Van Hollen said.

“Two weeks after his WH [White House] visit, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan is thumbing his nose at Trump, the U.S. + NATO, and crossing another red line on S-400s,” Van Hollen said in a Twitter post, attaching an article on the issue.

Read more: Turkey and the US Discussed the S-400 Purchase – “It is a Very Serious Challenge” Trump Said

“Existing law requires Trump to impose sanctions. Pompeo must also confront Turkey about its latest ‘safe zone’ violations and attacks against the Kurds,” the US senator added.

What’s next?

But the course of Turkey’s strategy seems set. As Aaron Stein puts it in Foreign Affairs, Erdogan and the AKP “don’t think their relationship with Washington is nearly as valuable as Washington seems to think it is.”

Taking up the thread, Steven A. Cook, a longtime Turkey watcher, says Ankara “is not the partner it used to be. In the future, U.S. policy should be based on the fact that while Turkey is not an enemy of the United States, it is also not a friend.”

With all these actions, Turkey has shown that it is trying to pursue a stand-alone policy unrelated to that of its Western partners, as they already are.

There are plans to buy another S-400 system from Russia, a prerequisite for new tensions between Turkey and the West, new sanctions and new inaction by Erdogan against Western warnings.

Also, there is a real opportunity for Turkey to co-operate with Russia in the production of the S-400.

A source from Turkish Defense Industry announced more datails about the agreement “The agreement with Russia on the acquisition of S-400 includes two divisions. The first of them has already been delivered. Now training is in progress, and in April next year, the systems will be fully installed. For this division, the agreement does not envisage joint production and transfer of technologies, the complexes came to Turkey completely manufactured in Russia”

The source said also “The contract for its supply has been signed, the negotiations concern not the purchase, but the joint production and transfer of technologies. Negotiations have been going on for a long time, while there is no question that the both sides will be able to agree”.

Read more: Russia and Turkey will start joint production of S-400 defense system and transfer of technologies

Do you now find logic in Macron’s words that NATO is in brain death?

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BulgarianMilitary.com
Editorial team
Source: CNN, Anadolu

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