The Pentagon has told India in no uncertain terms that the United States will not automatically grant a sanctions waiver if New Delhi follows through with its intent to purchase the Russian made S-400 missile defence systems. This admonition from the Pentagon comes days before the so-called ‘2+2’ meetings of the US and India Foreign and Defence ministers in New Delhi. It looks increasingly likely that one way or another, the US will put an end to India’s desire to attain Russia’s flagship anti-missile system.
By contrast, in spite of rapidly declining relations with the United States, Turkey remains fully committed to purchasing the S-400s from Russia. In a recent speech, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lambasted the US for withdrawing important missile systems from Turkey that could have prevented missiles from the Syrian division of the PKK terror group from hitting Turkish soil. Multiple rocket attacks from the YPG/PKK have hit Turkish soil after being launched from terrorist occupied regions of northern Syria. While this ought to be a major concern for Turkey’s putative NATO ally the United States, according to Erdogan this is not the case. The Turkish President stated,
“Do you know what they were doing when Kilis, Gaziantep, Reyhanlı and Kırıkhan were being attacked from Syria by 127 rocket, artillery or mortar attacks, and seven citizens lost their lives and 125 others were injured? They [the United States] were pulling back air defence systems previously deployed in our country. We need such systems, but they refused to sell them to us. And when we tried to solve this issue on our own, they put obstacles in our way. Turkey needs S-400s, we have made a decision on this agreement. I hope that we will receive these systems in the near future”.
Erdogan further criticised Washington for delaying the delivery of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey in spite of the fact that components of the new jets were made in Turkey.
Even prior to the recent US led economic war against Turkey, the fact of the matter is that in allying itself with the YPG/PKK in Syria, the United States has for years been supporting a terror organisation that threatens the safety and security of the Turkish state and its citizens. What the US has done in allying with the PKK’s Syrian group is no different from Turkey funding, training and arming an anti-American terror group operating in northern Mexico – something that would clearly be inconceivable.
The behaviour of the US in Syria clearly not the behaviour of an ally – it is in fact the opposite. While the US attempts to construct a narrative that it is somehow acceptable to support the PKK’s Syrian based divisions while not doing so in Turkey, the realities on the ground tell a different story as Turks have been killed in their own country due to PKK missile attacks whose point of origin is northern Syria.
Because of this reality, one cannot say that Turkey seeks S-400s out of any malicious intent directed at the United States. Far from it, Turkey has even stated that Turkish servicemen will be trained to use the S-400s on Russian soil and that in the future Turkey seeks to produce S-400s under a would-be licensing agreement with Moscow. In other words, Turkey has guaranteed that Russian military advisers will not be present in Turkey in efforts to calm tensions with the US. But while Turkey has gone out of its way to secure a win-win in respect of the S-400s, the US continues to threaten Turkey for pursuing an independent foreign policy for the benefit of its own security situation, all the while still working beside the YPG/PKK in much of northern Syria.
In this sense, Turkey’s desire and commitment to purchase the S-400s cannot be described as anything other than a pragmatic decision which can help to safeguard Turkey’s long term security concerns, especially given the fact that the US refuses to disassociate itself from YPG/PKK terrorists in Syria. If the US wanted to dissuade Turkey from purchasing the S-400s, the obvious thing to do would be to immediately cease its perverse alliance with the YPG/PKK will offering Ankara a competitive deal on US made missile defence systems that would be under the full control of the Turkish Army.
But instead of looking out for the security concerns of a fellow NATO member, the US has done the opposite. There is consequently no mystery behind when Turkey seeks to buy a reliable missile defence system from a country that is proving itself to be a highly valued partner to the Republic of Turkey.