Trump Regime Threatens Turkey Over Purchase of Russian S-400 Air Defense Missiles

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Trump Regime Threatens Turkey Over Purchase of Russian S-400 Air Defense Missiles

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Russian S-400s are the gold standard in air defense systems, technologically superior to US long-range surface-to-air Patriot missiles. Nothing in the West matches Russia’s technological superiority.

S-400s can destroy multiple hostile aircraft, ballistic missiles, and other aerial targets up to 250 miles away. China was Russia’s first foreign buyer. 

Trials were successfully conducted last December in the country, no further ones planned, a Chinese military statement saying:

“We really saw that the S-400 system by its capabilities today is unparalleled in the world in its armament class.”

Russia’s S-400 Triumf is the latest long-and medium-range surface-to-air missile system – designed to strike aerial and ground targets at a distance of up to 400 km away, at an altitude up to 30 km, able to overcome heavy enemy fire and electronic countermeasures.

Last year, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell warned Turkey, saying “(w)e made it clear that if (Erdogan) buys S-400s, there will be consequences.” 

“We will introduce sanctions within the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Delivering F-35 combat aircraft Ankara contracted for may be halted.”

Mitchell unjustifiably claimed that the Trump regime has “legal authority that would allow (it) to withhold transfer under certain circumstances, including national security concerns.”

The State Department issued a similar warning, saying nations contracting to buy S-400s may be sanctioned.

US policy is all about wanting corporate America to have a leg up on foreign competition, along  with wanting Russia, China, Iran, and other countries considered adversaries marginalized, weakened, contained and isolated – a failed longterm strategy.

Days earlier, Turkish President Erdogan said the debate about whether his government would buy Russian S-400s is “over,” noting signed contracts call for the first delivery in July.

Saying “(w)e are an independent Turkey. We are not slaves,” he rejected Trump regime, congressional and Pentagon threats to impose consequences on the country if the purchase is concluded.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said buying S-400s doesn’t mean no interest in wanting US Patriot missiles. 

Erdogan’s Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu said no nation has the right to dictate to Ankara, especially if they want their products sold to Turkey over competitive ones.

In testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee members, US NATO commander General Curtis Scaparrotti urged halting Patriot air defense missiles and F-35 deliveries to Turkey if Erdogan purchases S-400s.

He lied calling Russia “a longterm strategic competitor that wants to advance its own objectives at the expense of US prosperity and security,” adding:

“In pursuit of its objectives, Moscow seeks to assert its influence over nations along its periphery, undermine NATO solidarity and fracture the rules-based international order.”

All of the above claims are bald-faced Big Lies. Addressing congressional members was all about Scaparrotti lobbying for greater US defense spending, saying:

“I’m not comfortable yet with the deterrent posture that we have in Europe. I have shortfalls in our land component…and in our maritime component.”

“Evolving Russian capabilities threaten to erode our competitive military advantage, challenge our ability to operate uncontested in all domains and diminish our ability to deter Russian aggression (sic).”

Moscow spends a small fraction on defense compared to the bloated US budget. Virtually all Pentagon commanders want more greater “defense” spending at a time when the only US threats are invented ones. No real ones exist.

Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers repeated earlier warnings, saying “I can tell you that if Turkey takes the S-400s, there would be grave consequences in terms of our military relationship with them,” adding:

“If they take the S-400s, they would not get the F-35s and Patriots.” The Trump regime is pressuring India to cancelled its S-400 deal. New Delhi said it’s firm and won’t change.

How do you say go to hell in Turkish, as well as in Sanskrit, Urdu, and other official Indian languages?

A Final Comment

According to Russia’s Rostec defense and technology company official Viktor Kladov, S-400s are a system Ankara wants and Moscow intends supplying it, explaining:

“(S)o far, (the transaction) is going very smoothly. We are cooperating with partners and potential partners, regardless of who likes it and who doesn’t like it.”

Asked if Russia will sell Su-35s to Turkey if the Trump regime cancels the F-35 deal, Kladov said things don’t work this way. It’s up to Ankara to decide what it will or won’t buy.

If Trump hardliners push Erdogan too far, he’ll likely buy more weapons from Russia at the expense of US sales. Its threats haven’t deterred him.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.