No jets for Turkey: US lawmakers speak out against F-16 sale to Ankara

Members of the US House of Representatives Dina Titus, Chris Pappas, Charlie Crist, Carolyn B. Maloney, Frank Pallone Jr., and John Sarbanes have spoken out against President Biden’s support for F-16 sale to Turkey. In a statement issued earlier today, the Representatives noted:

“Turkey, specifically their Presidencies of Defense Industries, remains under sanctions through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) as a result of their purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense system. The Biden Administration has not provided answers to how Turkey would qualify to be exempt from these sanctions and how the Administration would mitigate the risks of co-locating F-16s and modernization kits with a Russian weapons system, which is why Turkey was removed from the F-35 program.

“Since the beginning of 2022 Turkey has violated the airspace of fellow NATO ally Greece over 2,377 times, including 120 overflights over Greek territory. Turkey’s antagonistic actions in the Aegean Sea, as well as their hostile stance towards the Greek government, make it clear that they do not intend to suspend these aggressive and destabilizing actions soon. If the United States were to proceed with the sale of F-16s, American-made warplanes would undoubtedly be used to enter Greek airspace.”

“Finally, in addition to Turkey’s aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, President Erdogan has announced he is on the verge of reinvading Syria with the specific intention of targeting Kurdish forces in the North. Many of these forces have previously fought alongside and assisted U.S. operations in the region. If Turkey were to obtain F-16 fighter systems, they would clearly be used in this new offensive against our Syrian Kurdish allies. The Administration has provided no information on how it would ensure these individuals, whom we have relied on in the past and may need to do so in the future, will be protected from U.S.-developed weaponry.”

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