Turkey Threatens Retaliation If US Halts Arms Sales

New NDAA would halt weapons sales to Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is warning that Turkey is prepared to retaliate against the United States if Congress goes through with a plan to halt the sales of US weapons to Turkey. Cavusoglu added that “the US needs to let go of this.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

At present, language temporary halting arms sales to Turkey is in the newest military spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It would halt all sales until the Pentagon completes a report to Congress on the status of the relationship between the US and Turkey.

The relationship isn’t great between the two NATO members. Turkey has been openly threatening to attack US forces within Syria for backing the Kurdish YPG. The US is also irked that Turkey recently bought a Russian S-400 air defense system, choosing it over more expensive US-made options.

It makes sense that Congress would be leery of selling Turkey arms that might soon be used against US forces in northern Syria. At the same time, Turkey is offering to buy over 100 F-35 jets from Lockheed Martin, and that sort of purchase covers up a lot of concerns.

Cavusoglu insisted Turkey is “not a country under your orders” and would not accept the US Congress telling them what they can and can’t buy. He did not specify what Turkey’s retaliation would be if the ban is put into place.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.