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Turkey receives first shipment of Russian S-400 missile defense system

Turkey receives first shipment of Russian S-400 missile defense system

The first shipment of Russian-made S-400 air defence system components continued to arrive by plane at an airfield near Ankara on Friday.

Ankara and Washington are also involved in disputes over strategy in Syria east of the Euphrates River, where the United States is allied with Kurdish forces that Turkey views as foes.

What is the S-400 air and missile system?

. It is the fourth generation of long-range Russian Surface-to-Air-Missiles (SAMs).

The S-400 Triumph, which became operational in 2007, is created to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ones.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to believe that, whatever the Pentagon may say, Donald Trump himself is less hostile to the purchase of the Russian missiles.

Turkey has refused to bow to U.S. pressure, insisting that choosing which defence equipment to purchase is a matter of national sovereignty.

"In military terms, it is an advantage of the United States to have access to the Russian systems within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation armoury to understand the way the system works and deploy counter measures against it", he said.

The United States says the S-400s are not compatible with NATO's defense network and could compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and planning to buy.

Russian Federation began the delivery of an advanced missile defence system to Turkey it has been reported, a move likely to trigger USA sanctions against a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally and drive a wedge into the heart of the military alliance.

In late May, Kathryn Wheelbarger, U.S. acting assistant secretary of defense said that the "S-400 is a Russian system created to shoot down an aircraft like the F-35".

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Last week, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrew said that "Turkey will not be permitted to have both systems".

In an interview with the BBC this morning, Reed said that since Turkey "chose the S-400 so they will be suspended, indeed eliminated from the F-35 program".

What has Washington threatened to do about it?

The US State Department has said that Turkish officials are fully aware of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a law passed by Congress in 2017 that mandates sanctions for any "significant" purchases of weapons from Russian Federation. "If Turkey procures the S-400, it will mean they will not receive the F-35". Last month, the two presidents met in Japan on the sidelines of the G-20 summit of the world's largest economies. He also said he didn't think the United States would impose sanctions on Turkey over the ordeal.

Turkey maintains that it has fulfilled all of its financial obligations concerning the F-35 program and can not be excluded from the project.

How has Turkey defended its decision to go forward with the purchase?

As strategic partners, nobody has the right to meddle in Turkey's sovereign rights.

"It is up to allies to decide what military equipment they buy", a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official told CNN on Friday.

At the time, Trump acknowledged the USA had a "complicated" situation, when it came to responding to Turkey, and noted that possible sanctions were being discussed.

"U.S. policy should be based on the fact that while Turkey is not an enemy of the United States, it is also not a friend".

After meeting with Trump that same day, Erdogan said the president assured him there would be no sanctions. We're working on it.