US President Donald Trump's bid to become the next defense minister has condemned Turkey's decision to buy the Russian missile defense system S-400 in remarks that interrupt the days of silence of the White House on the move.
The Senate Armed Forces Committee on Tuesday Army Secretary Mark Esper, described this move as a "disappointing" NATO ally.
"They are a long-time ally of NATO, but their decision on the C-400 is wrong," Esper said.
His comments came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that the first batch of missile defense equipment was delivered by Russia in recent days, despite repeated US calls to cancel the deal or punish
"We started to receive our S-400, some said they could "not buy them" … God would be installed in their places by April 2020, "Erdogan told a crowd on Monday in Istanbul when Turkey marks the third anniversary of the bloody twister.
"S-400 is the strongest defense system against those who want to attack our country
" You Can not Have Both "
Washington has tried ] months to prevent Turkey from acquiring S-400s ̵
It also said that if S-400 are located close to US F-35 aircraft that Turkey buys and helps manufacture, they will undermine the stealth fighter
On Tuesday Esper said it is confirming Washington's position with Ankara that Turkey can not have the advanced fighter F-35 and the airplane S-400
" communicated to my colleague if confirmed … is that you can have the S-400 or have the F-35. You can not have both of them, "Esper said, acting as secretary of defense, while the Senate judged his candidacy." The acquisition of the S-400 fundamentally undermines the capabilities of the F-35 and our ability to keep this over-match in the sky ahead, he added. Turkey has repeatedly stated that the S-400 is a strategic defense requirement primarily to protect its southern borders with Syria and Iraq and that when it has concluded the agreement with Moscow on equipment, the United States and Europe have not presented a viable alternative. Erdogan has already said he does not believe that Washington will impose sanctions on the issue, as both sides are "strategic allies"
Trump expressed sympathy for Turkey's position when meeting Erdogan on the G20 summit in Japan last month, stating that Ankara had bought S-400s from Moscow because the US administration would not sell Patriot missiles.
But despite Trump's warm words, the US authorities last week said the administration is still planning to take action on Turkey's decision.
In addition to the threatened sanctions, they said Turkey could be thrown out of the F-35 stealth program, which means it will no longer be part of the production process or buy the aircraft it has ordered.
The current dispute between countries with the two largest armies in NATO marks a deep impression. a division into a Western military alliance that was falsified after the Second World War to counter Moscow's military might. Investors in Turkey were worried about the deal and the prospect of sanctions, a year after a dispute with Washington on a lawsuit against an American pastor in Turkey contributed to a financial crisis that led the economy of Turkey to recession.