Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

Report: Congress Has Secretly Blocked US Arms Sales to Turkey

Report: Congress Has Secretly Blocked US Arms Sales to Turkey

Friday, 14 August, 2020 - 08:00
FILE PHOTO: 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

Several key members of Congress have quietly frozen all major US arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years to pressure Ankara to abandon its Russian-built S-400 air defense system, Defense News has learned.


Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and House Foreign Affairs ranking member Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, acknowledged they are part of the freeze after they were contacted by Defense News.


The two other lawmakers who can sign off on foreign military sales ― House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., are also part of the hold, according to multiple Capitol Hill sources.


The legislative action, which has not been previously reported, is another sign of the deeply fractured relationship between the two NATO allies, a disruption that has already led to Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 joint strike fighter program, the report said.


Editor Picks

Multimedia