US to sanction Turkey after S-400 delivery

US President Donald Trump is expected to announce sanctions next week against Turkey for taking delivery of the Russian S-400 missile defence system.

Bloomberg reported that Turkey is now facing US sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The plan was developed by the State and Defence departments and the National Security Council. The report said the US administration plans to announce the sanctions late next week after the anniversary of the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.

The Turkish National Defence Ministry said on Twitter: “Delivery of S-400 Long Range Air and Missile Defence Systems is continuing as planned, and the sixth Russian plane carrying S-400 parts landed at Murted Airbase outside Ankara” adding that a seventh plane was also scheduled to arrive. The Russian system which includes truck-mounted radars, command posts and missiles and launchers has caused anger within NATO. Turkey now risks being excluded from the F-35 aircraft programme as a result.

A NATO spokesman said on Friday: “We are concerned about the potential consequences of Turkey’s decision to acquire the S-400 system,” in part because it is incompatible with weapons systems used by NATO countries. “Interoperability of our armed forces is fundamental to NATO for the conduct of our operations and missions. We welcome that Turkey is working with several Allies on developing long-range air and missile defence systems.”

US and NATO officers have expressed deep concern about Turkey’s proposed deployment of the Russian manufactured S-400 missile defence system alongside the US-made F-35 aircraft fearing that it will enable Russian technicians to acquire detailed information about the operation of the F-35’s and their potential vulnerability to the S-400.

At the G20 summit in late-June President Trump described the issue as “a mess” but said it’s “not really Erdogan’s fault.”

Last month, Erdogan said: “They [the US] should think deeply, because losing a country like Turkey will not be easy. If we are friends, if we are strategic partners, then we should handle this issue between each other.” Turkey says it purchased the Russian S-400s after failed efforts to purchase an air defence system from the US.