On March 10th, US Department of Defense spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said that the US would deliver Patriot air defense systems to Turkey, if it returned the S-400 missile defense system to Russia.
.@ChiefPentSpox: "Turkey is not going to receive a Patriot battery unless it returns the S-400."
Doubt Turkey can get a full refund on that S-400? Maybe store credit?
— Elizabeth McLaughlin (@Elizabeth_McLau) March 10, 2020
Two Turkish officials told Reuters News Agency that Turkey was evaluating the US offer but added that Ankara had not changed its plans for the Russian S-400 systems.
The S-400 is planned to be activated in April 2020.
Speaking to reporters on his return flight from Brussels on March 10th, Erdogan said Ankara had told Washington to deploy Patriot systems to Turkey and that it was ready to buy the systems from the US, as well.
“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,” he said.
“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,'” Erdogan added.
In February, Turkey requested that the United States send two Patriot batteries to its southern border to deter any future attacks by Syrian troops.
In an apparent response to Erdoğan’s remarks, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, David Satterfield, said on March 10th that Ankara should clarify its stance on the purchase of the S-400s, which are scheduled to become fully operational in April.
“S-400s are not suitable since Turkey is a NATO member, this could cause problems regarding F-35s,” Satterfield said.
Back in July 2019, the offer which Erdogan now calls “a softening” in the US stance was mocked as ridiculous.
Purchasing a $2 billion system and not even activating it.
It was proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and openly mocked.
This provides for Turkey’s hypocrisy, as well as its desperation in the current situation.
At the same time, it is unlikely that Turkey would “return” the S-400, or simply not use it, it just wants to keep its cake, and eat it, too.
At the same time, there is ample Turkish propaganda trying to discredit the Russian air defense systems, such as the Pantsir S-1.
These include obviously doctored videos, showing questionable footage of the systems being destroyed in Syria.
This also includes alleged footage of the Pantsir S-1, and mocking them as ineffective.
At the same time, the purchase of the S-400 was praised as a great victory in terms of diplomacy and military procurement, since it is the premier air defense system in the world, despite Russia obviously making “expensive” and “ineffective” air defense systems, such as the Pantsir S-1, with all of the fake information provided for it.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Turkey Publishes Footage Of Russian-made Air Defense Systems In Syria Mocking Them As Ineffective
- Doctored Footage And Fake Claims: Turkish Media Campaign In Support Of Operation Peace Spring