Deny Turkey Nato tech: Israel

Deny Turkey Nato tech: Israel

An Israeli military commander is reported to have said Tel Aviv is in talks with the United States over the delivery of the F-35 single-engine stealth fighter (pictured) to Turkey without performance-enhancing software.

Haaretz quoted an unnamed source saying Israel wanted to be the only regional power with the latest F-35 jets.

The Israel Air Force is scheduled to receive the software to improve the plane’s capabilities in July, the Israeli military is calling on Washington not to provide Turkey with the software.

Republican US Senator James Lankford was quoted saying by Haaretz: “Our concern is that Turkey is going through a very dramatic transition as a country. Turkey has gone a long way from being a Nato ally and an important partner in working against terrorism, to the situation today, where it is holding an American citizen as a bargaining chip. This is not the behaviour of an ally. 

“My concern is, they’re a Nato ally, they have been a good partner for years, but if we don’t know what the country is going to be like in a few years, we should withhold this resource from them,” he said.

Turkey is allegedly poised to buy Russia’s Su-57 fighter jets if Washington decides to suspend the delivery of F-35 jets, according to unreliable, Moscow-backed sources, possibly intended to sow confusion and disagreement within Nato. 

Turkey’s defence ministry would not comment on plans to buy the Su-57. 

Reports in Turkey that Ankara would turn to Russia should Congress block the F-35 planes were based on external opinions and did not reflect Turkey’s official position, Ankara’s defence ministry apparently said.

Turkey’s internment of a US pastor on terror charges and plans by Ankara to purchase Russian S-400 anti-missile systems have added to tension with Washington.

The delivery is expected to start between late 2019 and early 2020.

Todd Wood wrote in the Washington Post: “It’s time to tell the truth about Turkey. Under the Islamist government of Recep Erdogan, Turkey is no longer an ally of the United States. Its membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation [Nato] is a fraud. Turkey cannot be trusted.

“[President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has slowly but surely moved Turkey away from the secular heritage of Kemal Ataturk, who knew full well the dangers of returning Turkey to its Islamist, imperialist, Ottoman roots. We now have a full-fledged Islamist theocracy on Nato’s southern flank, actively thwarting America’s agenda in the Middle East.”


The F-35. Picture credit: Wikimedia


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