BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – Turkey could be expelled from the F-35 program if they continue with the acquisition of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system, the Pentagon recently said, as reported by state-owned Anadolu Agency.
According to the report, the U.S. congress approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that prohibited the F-35 sales to Turkey until a report is issued by the Pentagon on Turkish-American relations in the next 90 days.
Based on a two-page summary in the possession of the Anadolu Agency, the Pentagon believes Turkey’s “unique geo-strategic position on NATO’s southeastern flank” is imperative to the U.S.’ interests.
“Despite bilateral tensions, Turkey remains a productive military partner in many areas,” the Pentagon said in the report.
However, the report also said the Trump administration “will reassess Turkey’s continued participation as one of the eight partner nations should they continue their purchase of the S-400.”
The Pentagon report offered Turkey an alternative to the Russian-made S-400 system, which would keep them compliant in the F-35 program.