The United States has halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey, marking the first concrete US step to block delivery of the jet to the NATO ally in light of Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian missile defense system.
“Pending an unequivocal Turkish decision to forgo delivery of the S-400, deliveries and activities associated with the stand-up of Turkey’s F-35 operational capability have been suspended,” Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, a Defense Department spokesman, said in a statement.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has refused to back down from Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system that the United States has said would compromise the security of F-35 aircraft.
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