Turkey has agreed to deepen its defense ties with Russia despite pleas from the US. A senior Turkish official recently revealed that Ankara has agreed to purchase an advanced missile defense system from Russia for $2.5 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Turkish President Erdogan and Russian President Putin Photo Credit: EPA
A senior Turkish official has told Bloomberg that Ankara has decided to purchase an advanced missile defense system from Russia for $2.5 billion. The official explained that the two countries have reached a preliminary agreement that would provide Turkey with two Russian S-400 missile batteries within the next 12 months. In addition, two more would be manufactured in Turkey. Bloomberg stated that the official asked to remain anonymous “because of the sensitivity of the matter.”
The US has been trying to convince Turkey not to purchase the missile defense system from Moscow. By deciding to purchase the system from Russia, Turkey is going against its NATO ally. If the deal goes through, it will be seen as Turkey taking another step away from the bloc.
While the US uses Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base to launch airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, the relationship between the two countries has deteriorated over the past few months due to the American support for the Kurdish militias fighting the murderous terrorist organization. Turkey views the Syrian Kurds as terrorists or supporters of terrorists due to their relationship with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). However, the US considers the Syrian Kurdish forces a great ally in the fight against ISIS.
In May, US President Donald Trump decided to approve a plan to arm the Syrian Kurdish militias in order to help them fight ISIS in Raqqa. “Yesterday, the president authorized the Department of Defense to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIS in Raqqa, Syria,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement as she announced Trump’s decision. Raqqa is a crucial area in the fight against ISIS because it is the murderous terrorist group’s self-proclaimed Syrian capital.