An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act filed by three Republican senators seek to block the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey because President Erdogan cannot be trusted.
Senators Thom Tillis (NC), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and James Lankford (OK) all backed an amendment to the NDAA that would block the sale of the high tech fighters to Turkey unless President Donald Trump certifies that Turkey is not threatening NATO, buying defense equipment from Russia, or detaining US citizens.
According to Lockheed Martin, creators of the F-35 platform of fighters, Turkey wants to purchase 100 of its F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant.
“Turkey has partnered with Lockheed Martin for more than 25 years, primarily on the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft,” Lockheed Martin said. “Turkey continued that partnership when it joined the F-35 Lighting II program during the System Development and Demonstration phase of the Joint Strike Fighter Program.”
The Washington Examiner reports:
The Senate’s NDAA bill and amendments are set to be voted on in the coming days. The legislation requires the Pentagon to submit a plan to Congress to remove Turkey from participation in the F-35 program.
The House-passed a version of the NDAA last month would delay the F-35 sales for three months while the Pentagon completes a report on the U.S. relationship with Turkey.
U.S. lawmakers have slammed the NATO ally and its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for seeking to buy the S-400 Triumf air defense system from Russia despite sanctions on such sales.
Turkey has also increased tensions due to its 2016 detention of pastor Andrew Brunson on charges of colluding with terrorist groups.
A group of 66 senators including Tillis, Shaheen and Lankford wrote a letter to Erdogan in April calling the charges against the pastor an “absurd collection of anonymous accusations, flights of fantasy, and random character assassination.”
It is uncertain whether the proposed amendment will receive a vote on the Senate floor. It is among dozens filed and the chamber is now hashing out an agreement that could allow votes on just a fraction of them.
Anti-Islamic jihad commentator Pamela Geller applauded the move saying, “One of the world’s most brutal rulers should not be in possession of the world’s most advanced fighter jet.”
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used his already formidable military to ruthlessly butcher Kurdish villagers in his native Turkey,” she added. “He has used his air force to harass and bully neighboring Greece and Cyprus. In March 2018, Erdogan called for an “army of Islam” to attack Israel. Erdogan also provides military support to Hamas.”
That’s not all though. Erdogan has said he will purchase the Russian S-400 air defense system, which is a violation of NATO policy.
“We purchase them [S-400 systems] in order not to store them in warehouses. The will be used appropriately if it is necessary. And what should we do with these defensive systems if not to use them? To rely again on mercy of the United States?” Erdogan said in the air of TGRT broadcaster.
Washington has threatened sanctions over the purchase from Russia. Big deal! Why not eliminate Turkey from the NATO equation? Why do people put up with Islamic supremacists? It makes absolutely no sense.
Perhaps Turkey should come up with their own military industrial complex and build their own jets.