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Erdogan Says Security Threats To Turkey Come From US, NATO As Washington Threatens Ankara With Sanctions Over S-400 Deal

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Erdogan Says Security Threats To Turkey Come From US, NATO As Washington Threatens Ankara With Sanctions Over S-400 Deal

President of Turkey and Chairman of AK Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the meeting of local mayors at ATO Congresium in Ankara, Turkey on September 13, 2017. (Turkish Presidency / Yasin Bulbul / Handout – Anadolu Agency)

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has once again slammed the US and other NATO member states for their military and political support to Kurdish militias operating in northern Syria. President Erdogan has even described the US-NATO actions as a threat to the Turkish security.

“We cannot buy weapons from the US with our money, but unfortunately, the US and coalition forces give these weapons, this ammunition, to terrorist organizations for free,” Erdogan said in an interview on Turkish channel NTV. “So where does the threat come from? It comes primarily from strategic partners.”

Erdogan also recalled that the US continues its military supplies to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) despite Ankara’s repeated statement about its concerns over the issue. According to Erdogan, the US had sent5,000 trucks “loaded with weapons” to the SDF.

The US has not only ignored Turksih concerns over the American strategy for Syria but has also threatened Ankara with new sanctions over the Russian-Turkish military cooperation.

“Ankara should be mindful of the risks in making strategic concessions to Moscow in order to achieve its tactical objectives in Syria. Ankara claims to have agreed to purchase the Russian S-400 missile system, which could potentially lead to sanctions under section 231 of CAATSA and adversely impact Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program,” Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell said commenting on the Russian-Turkish relations.

“It is in the American national interest to see Turkey remain strategically and politically aligned with the West,” he said. “The ease with which Turkey brokered arrangements with the Russian military to facilitate the launch of its Operation Olive Branch in the Afrin district –arrangements to which America was not privy– is gravely concerning.”

The US diplomat also noted that Ankara “has increased its engagement with Russia and Iran.”

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