Turkey to 'buy more S-400 missile defence systems from Russia' despite American warnings

Turkey to 'buy more S-400 missile defence systems from Russia' despite American warnings
Turkey and Russia have strengthened military ties recently, working together to establish and monitor a safe zone in northeastern Syria, making them the most influential foreign actors in the region.
2 min read
23 October, 2019
The systems could help Russia glean classified information about the US' F-35 jets programme. [Getty]
Turkey is in talks to buy more S-400 missile defence systems from Russia, Moscow's state arms exporter said.

The move comes despite Washington's repeated warnings to Ankara against such a purchase.

Alexander Mikheyev, head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told Interfax news agency that the two countries were discussing financing and "a delivery schedule". He did not provide any further details.

NATO member Turkey received the first batch of Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems in a move that raised tension with the United States.

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The US is firmly opposed to Ankara buying the defence system from Moscow saying that Russia will be able to glean sensitive technical knowledge about its F-35 fighter jets. In retaliation, Washington kicked Turkey off its F-35 programme.

Moscow and Ankara have strengthened their military ties recently, and are working together to end the war in Syria despite being on different sides. This week, the two struck an agreement that will change the map of northeastern Syria by agreeing to establish and jointly patrol a Turkish controlled safe zone.

Kurdish militias that once controlled large parts of northern Syria are being forced out of most of the land they earlier controlled. The failure to do so, Moscow has said, would them in the crossfire of the Turkish army.

The agreement said efforts would also be launched for the return of refugees to Syria "in a safe and voluntary manner".

Ankara has said some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey can be rehoused inside the safe zone.

The deal has cemented the position of Turkey and Russia as the main foreign players in Syria following the pullout of American troops from the region.

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