U.S. withdraws Patriot offer over Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S-400s
The United States has formally withdrawn an offer to Turkey for the sale of U.S.-made Patriot batteries in retaliation for Turkey's acquisition of Russian S-400 missile systems, CNN reported on Thursday.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced last month that the United States halted the delivery of 100 F-35 stealth fighters Turkey purchased after Ankara started receiving shipments of S-400s. The Pentagon also suspended Turkey’s participation in the programme to build F-35s over concerns that S-400 systems could access sensitive data on the aircraft’s defence.
"We have consistently told Turkey that our latest offer of Patriot would be withdrawn if it took delivery of the S-400 system. Our Patriot offer has expired," CNN quoted a U.S. State Department official as saying.
The U.S. State Department in December informed the U.S. Congress that it had approved a $3.5 billion sale of Patriot batteries to Turkey. A U.S. delegation that arrived in Turkey in January set the cancellation of the S-400 deal as a prerequisite for the sale of Patriot missile defence system.
Trump has repeatedly said that Turkey had been forced to purchase Russian defence systems as the former U.S. administration under President Barack Obama had declined to sell Patriot batteries to Turkey.
There is also bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress to impose sanctions on Turkey over the S-400 purchase under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which states that the U.S. President must choose five of 12 proposed sanctions, ranging from mild to harsh