The US announced its intention to end Turkey's involvement in its F-35 stealth bomber program as Ankara plans to buy a Russian air defense system that could pose a threat to the aircraft.
US officials announced on Monday Washington had set the training of Turkish pilots on F-35 fighters at an Air Force base in the US state of Arizona Patrick Shanahan told his Turkish counterpart that his is already in the Country pilots could stay until the end of July.
Washington gave Ankara a July deadline to make its decision to buy the Russian S-400 missile system. The US says Russia's takeover of the Turkish missile defense poses a threat to Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter, who also wants to buy Ankara.
The US threatens sanctions against the purchase of Turkish missiles.
Washington says Turkey can not have both
The impasse threatens to impose US sanctions that would damage the Turkish economy already affected by the recession and raise questions about its role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
"The unit is aware that Turkish pilots at Luke AFB" Without a change in Turkish policy, we will continue to work closely with our Turkish ally to end their participation in the Air Force, "said Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, a Pentagon – Spokesman, told Reuters F-35 program. "
A second US official who spoke on condition of anonymity said a Luke commander on site last week decided to train Turkish pilots and maintenance teams to stop because of safety concerns ns.
The training of Turkish maintenance staff continues at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, the official said.
Turkey is a partner in the F-35 program, which helped finance the development of the fighter jet. It plans to purchase 100 aircraft and already owns four aircraft currently on US soil for training purposes.
& # 39; No middle ground & # 39;
Tensions between the Americans and Turkey are already beyond the F-35 and S-35. 400 to include conflicting strategies in Syria, sanctions against Iran and the detention of US consular officials in Turkey
. Turkey has vowed to promote the purchase of S-400 Moscow, despite the warnings of the United States.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that it was "beyond question" that Turkey would refrain from its agreement with Moscow.
Ankara said US House resolution on Tuesday Sentencing the purchase of S-400 under sanctions was "unacceptably threatening."
The resolution, which was introduced in May, was adopted in plenary on Monday.
Turkey has been asked to cancel the purchase of S-400, and in the case of Ankara sanctions were demanded accepted their delivery, which can come as soo n July.
"We rarely see it in foreign affairs, but this is a black and white issue, there is no middle ground, either Mr. Erdogan will break off the Russian business or not," said Eliot Engel, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the house of representatives.
"There is no future for Turkey to have both Russian weapons and American F-35s."
In response, the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated in a statement that its foreign policy would be "unfair." "and" unfounded "allegations in the resolution denigrates.
"It is unacceptable to make decisions that do not serve to strengthen mutual trust, and to keep the language of threats and sanctions on the agenda," he added.
US Patriot Deal
The US offered to Turkey the American-made Patriot missile defense system earlier this year after Ankara sealed the S-400 deal with Russia.
Erdogan said the United States did not make us "as good as the S-400."
Turkey says the delivery of patriots would take a long time and the deal involves no common products influencing the missile system.
Officials in Ankara say Turkey will conduct joint production of S-400 missiles with Russia in accordance with its agreement.
The head of the Russian state conglomerate Rostec said last week that Moscow will soon begin supplying S-400 missiles. 400 air defense systems to Turkey.
"Everything is fine with the Turks, and I hope that we will begin extradition in about two months," Sergei Chemesov told the Turkish media.
"The credit money was spent." The technology was made. And we've completed the training of all the military personnel, "he said.