Will Ankara give up the purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defense system? Will you be able to combine the use of Russian-made weapons with the supply of US F-35 fighters?
What security problems does President Erdogan’s controversial decision to equip the armed forces of his country with weapons produced by a “potential enemy” of the Atlantic Alliance pose? In short: can NATO trust the hitherto “unconditional ally” in Turkey?
The head of the Ankara diplomatic mission in Washington, Serdar Kiliç, tried to appease the mood of the American political establishment, explaining that the “friendly” combat weapons – read the invisible F-35 planes – will not share territory with the defense system “Enemy”, the S-400.
An exercise of unconvincing style, for which the ambassador had to resort to a concrete example: the forced coexistence of Russian and North American weapons on Syrian soil. Compatibility? Guaranteed! The term “incompatibility” was only used by NATO to dissuade the Turks. In vain…
The solution offered by the Ankara authorities is both simple and…unconvincing. Apparently, the fighters and anti-missile systems will be stationed in places far enough away so that Russian rockets can not reach the American planes.
Turkey plans to install the Russian anti-aircraft system in neighboring Azerbaijan, a country with which both Ankara and Moscow maintain excellent relations, and F-35 fighters, at a “prudent distance”, in southern Anatolia.
Western military experts do not seem very likely to accept this argument, remembering that the S-400 missiles can reach targets in European countries, such as Bulgaria, Cyprus or Greece, but also some areas of Israel.
In fact, Washington is trying to persuade Ankara that the purchase of the S-400 represents a threat to NATO and for military interchangeability among the member states of the Atlantic Alliance.
Turkey called attention to its transatlantic ally on the fact that the F-35 of the Israeli air force usually fly over Syria, where the Russians have batteries of S-400, but that does not disturb the US Administration. “However, when Turkey tries to improve its air defense system, problems of interchangeability arise,” says Ambassador Kiliç, recalling that the S-400 will be operated only and only by the Turkish military.
To overcome the reluctance of Donald Trump and the Pentagon’s strategists, President Erdogan suggested the creation of a working group on Russian defense systems. But the proposal was received with boxes distempered in the capital of the empire.
In fact, Washington repeatedly threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey for the acquisition of the S-400, even insinuating that it would suspend Ankara’s participation in the manufacturing program of invisible F-35 fighters.
Kathryn Wheelbarger, undersecretary of the United States Department of Defense responsible for International Security Affairs, estimates that the materialization of the sales contract for the S-400 system would have a “catastrophic” effect on future relations between Turkey and its partners. NATO.
Russian-made armament? False solomonic judgments? But what have those Turks believed? Who are an authentic regional power? the members of the American military establishment ask .
The answer from Ankara is…unequivocal. Turkey will not back down.