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Senators push for sanctions on Turkey after Ankara used the Russian system to detect US-made jets

A pair of bipartisan senators are pushing the Trump administration to sanction Turkey amid reports that it is testing a Russian-made missile defense system using US-made jets.

For years, US lawmakers have raised concerns about the purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system by NATO-ally Turkey and urged the imposition of sanctions required by US law on those who do business with the Russian defense industry.

The latest push comes after Turkey activated radars to detect US-made F-16 fighters in Greece following an international military exercise and plans to conduct a full missile defense system test next week.

“We write of public reports that Turkey activated the radars of its Russian-made S400 anti-aircraft system in order to detect US-made F-1

6 fighter jets returning from the Eunomia exercise conducted by France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus. in late August in response to Turkey’s unjustified aggression in the eastern Mediterranean ”, Sens. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van Hollen Lawmakers step up pressure on administration for payroll tax deferral to be optional for federal workers Congress must finish work on people’s conservation bill before time runs out Democrats fear that Russia’s interference could ruin the offer to win back the Senate (D-Md.) E James LankfordJames Paul Lankford McConnell: Plan Is To Confirm Trump’s Supreme Court Choice Before Election COVID Outbreak Threats GOP Supreme Court That Senate Leave Town For Two Weeks Amid Coronavirus Outbreak MORE (R-Okla.) He wrote Wednesday in a letter to the Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard Pompeo Four Presidential Perspectives Must Unite Against China The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Trump Resumes COVID-19 Faceless Recovery at White House Watchdog Group Says Leading Trade Advisor Trump Should Be Sacked for violations of the Hat Act MORE.

“In light of this information, we again urge you to impose sanctions on Turkey as required by law,” they added.

The pair also asked Pompeo if Turkey actually activated S-400 radars to detect F-16s and if the country integrated the system into NATO’s tactical data link, asking if this “would allow Russia to gather intelligence. on NATO allies. “

Turkey took delivery of the S-400 system last year, despite warnings from US officials that it was a threat to the US-made F-35 fighter and would carry sanctions.

In response to the purchase of the S-400, the Pentagon excluded Turkey from the F-35 program.

But the Trump administration has never imposed purchase sanctions, despite the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) calling for sanctions on those who do business with the Russian defense sector.

Additionally, despite officially banning Ankara from the F-35 program, the Pentagon has said that Turkey will continue producing parts for the jet until 2022.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Turkey plans next week to test the S-400 and its staff availability at a site in Sinop province on the Black Sea coast. That report followed that of a Greek newspaper about Turkey. which activated S-400 radars to track Greek F-16s after the Eunomia exercise.

The August crash would not be the first time Turkey has used S-400s to track down F-16s. Last year, Turkey tested radars by flying its F-16s over Ankara.

“Reports of this activation make it clear that Turkey has no intention of reversing course and dismantling this system,” wrote Van Hollen and Lankford. “Furthermore, the slow pace at which the Defense Department is moving to remove Turkey from the F-35 supply chain has no doubt encouraged [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. “

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