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Pentagon: Turkey to Receive Patriot Missiles If They Return S-400 to Russia

Pentagon: Turkey to Receive Patriot Missiles If They Return S-400 to Russia

Thursday, 12 March, 2020 - 06:15
FILE PHOTO: A view shows a new S-400 "Triumph" surface-to-air missile system after its deployment at a military base outside the town of Gvardeysk near Kaliningrad, Russia March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vitaly Nevar/File Photo

Washington denied making any changes to its conditions on supplying Turkey with Patriot air defence systems.

US Defense Department spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman stressed in a briefing that Turkey will not receive Patriot missiles until it meets US conditions.

“Turkey is not going to receive a Patriot battery unless it returns the S-400,” Hoffman told reporters.

This came in response to statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying that the US has softened its stance over the issue.

“They softened significantly on this S-400 issue. They are now at the point of ‘promise us you won’t make the S-400s operational,” Erdogan said on Tuesday.

Turkey is set to activate its first units of long range air defence systems in April, a battalion of S-400 system purchased from Russia and delivered from July 2019.

Both NATO allies, Turkey and the US, have been at odds over Ankara’s purchase last year of the S-400s, which Washington says are incompatible with the alliance’s defense systems.

After heavy fighting in northwestern Syria’s Idlib region this year Turkey asked Washington to deploy Patriots along its border with Syria for protection but the US said Turkey cannot have both the S-400s and the Patriots.

US has in the past suggested that Turkey destroy its S-400 batteries to avoid the threat of sanctions.

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