After days of silence about whether Turkey will be punished for accepting a Russian-made air defense system, U.S. President Donald Trump reluctantly seemed to agree Turkey will now be cut off from the F-35.
Though Washington has repeatedly warned that the Russian system, the S-400, is incompatible with NATO systems and is a threat to the F-35, Trump expressed sympathy toward Turkey’s decision. Trump portrayed the Obama administration as refusing to sell Turkey an American alternative, the Patriot missile defense system, until after the S-400 purchase was complete.
“So what happens is we have a situation where Turkey is very good with us, very good, and we are now telling Turkey that because you have really been forced to buy another missile system, we’re not going to sell you the F-35 fighter jets," Trump said. "It’s a very tough situation that they’re in, and it’s a very tough situation that we’ve been placed in, the United States.”
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