Duvar English – Reuters
The United States has asked Ankara to guarantee that it will not activate S-400 missile defense systems that it purchased from Russia to supply Patriot batteries, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 10.
“We made this offer to the United States on the Patriot: If you are going to give us Patriots, then do it. We can also buy Patriots from you,” Erdoğan told reporters on a return flight from Brussels.
“They also softened significantly on this S-400 issue. They are now at the point of ‘promise us you won’t make the S-400s operational,'” he added.
Turkey and the United States, NATO allies, have been at odds over Ankara’s purchase last year of the Russian S-400s, which Washington says are incompatible with the alliance’s defense systems and would compromise U.S. stealth fighter jets which Turkey was helping build and was scheduled to take delivery of.
The United States said Turkey could not have both the S-400s and Patriots. However, after the escalation of fighting in northwest Syria’s Idlib this year, Ankara asked Washington to deploy Patriot systems on its border with Syria for protection.
Washington has said it was willing to provide ammunition to Turkey for its military operations Idlib and that it was evaluating the Turkish demand for Patriot systems “within the context of the S-400s” issue.