US Official Says Turkey Could Face Sanctions Over S-400 Purchase

A senior U.S. official has warned Turkey that it would face sanctions over the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system, and it would also be excluded from the U.S.-led F-35 program.

Wess Mitchell, representing State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, offered a sober analysis on the contemporary state of turbulent relationship with Turkey.

Speaking on a range of issues regarding the conflict in Syria and other regional matters in the Middle East, he mostly focused on developing ties between Russia and Turkey.

After praising Turkey’s efforts to defeat Islamic State (ISIS), the major U.S. military mission in Syria, the opening of its bases to the U.S. warplanes and its 66-year membership to NATO, the official highlighted the contentious issues that stymie a more healthy cooperation and dialogue between two the NATO allies.

“Ankara claims to have agreed to purchase the Russian S-400 missile system, which could potentially lead to sanctions under section 231 of CAATSA and adversely impact Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program,” Mitchell told committee members.

Turkey’s preference of a Russian system kindled anxiety among its NATO allies, which warned Ankara that S-400s would not be interoperable with any NATO systems and would not be integrated to the joint structure of the alliance.

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