Tags: Trump Administration | trump | turkey | f35 | strike fighters | ankara

Trump Admin. to Sell F-35s to Turkey, Despite Opposition

Trump Admin. to Sell F-35s to Turkey, Despite Opposition
A F-35 fighter jet take-offs for a training mission at Hill Air Force Base on March 15, 2017 in Ogden, Utah.  (George Frey/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 04 June 2018 02:50 PM

Despite opposition from Congress and ongoing Turkish threats against Israel, the Trump administration appears set to deliver an advanced fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Ankara, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Monday.

The Trump administration has approved a deal to deliver Turkey's Air Force 100 F-35s, which are scheduled to be formally transferred to Turkey by September 2019 if Congress fails in its efforts to block the deal, according to The Aviationist.

Congressmen have been urging the Trump administration to reconsider the sale of these stealth planes, which are capable of evading radar, due to public efforts by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to unite the Islamic world against Israel following the U.S. decision to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Senate moved late last month to block the sale, setting up a showdown with the Trump administration. Turkey has already declared that it will turn to Russia or other nations if the U.S. fails to follow through with the agreement.

However, the Trump administration, has continued to move closer to Erdogan's government, including a meeting on Monday in Washington DC between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoglu to reaffirm the "spirit of allied partnership," according to a readout provided by the State Department.

But Cavusoglu admitted on Monday that opposition to the sale in Congress has caused friction between the U.S. and Turkey, according to AMN.

Three senators have already expressed opposition to the deal, offering a legislative measure late last month to block it, insisting that Turkey’s strategic decisions contrast American interests and make the sale of such sophisticated weaponry a risky endeavor.

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regime, agrees with the criticism, writing a column for the Washington Examiner that it's ironic "Trump, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, appear so sanguine about providing the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey, a country which was not only complicit with the Islamic State, but which also betrayed U.S. intelligence to it."

He also said that Turkey under Erdogan has repeatedly shared critical American intelligence information with Iranian officials and has formed closer alliances with Tehran and China.

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The Trump administration appears set to deliver an advanced fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Ankara, despite congressional opposition.
trump, turkey, f35, strike fighters, ankara
Monday, 04 June 2018 02:50 PM
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