US reaffirms stance on Turkey’s S-400, help for Syria’s Kurds

The Biden administration gained’t budge on the earlier administration’s calls for that NATO ally Turkey do away with Russia’s S-400 missile protection system. The United States can even proceed to help the Syrian Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG), a high State Department official assured lawmakers July 21.

Ankara can be topic to new US sanctions if it purchases further Russian army {hardware}, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland instructed the Senate’s international affairs panel July 21.

Lawmakers lambasted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s insurance policies, each international and home, throughout the listening to on Wednesday.

Committee members from each events slammed Ankara’s strikes towards journalists and Kurdish politicians from the Peoples’ Democratic Party, in addition to Turkish army actions in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh.

“These are the actions of a weak government, not a world power, and we should treat it as such,” Sen. Bob Menendez stated throughout the listening to.

The bipartisan rebuke got here only a week after President Joe Biden introduced former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake as his selection for the subsequent US ambassador to Turkey.

Washington’s ties with its Anatolian ally took a flip for the worst in 2017, when officers in Ankara signed a deal to purchase Russia’s S-400 missile protection system. The move led Trump administration officers to expel Ankara from a gaggle of countries with entry to Lockheed-Martin’s superior F-35 fighter plane, a move that Nuland identified has price Turkey economically.

Biden has vowed to carry US allies to account for his or her human rights information, but Turkey — which hosts NATO’s second-largest army after the United States — has turn out to be more and more strategically necessary to the United States in recent times, as Iran exports weapons and militias to battle zones within the Middle East and Russia seeks affect in Eastern Europe.

Nuland additionally signaled that US help for Syrian Kurdish-led YPG militias would proceed, regardless of Ankara’s objections.

“I think primarily at this stage we’ve just agreed to disagree,” she stated, including that the Kurdish-led fighters have confirmed extremely efficient within the internationally-backed conflict to crush the Islamic State.

Nuland provided a glimmer of hope in US relations with Turkey, nevertheless, saying that Erdogan’s supply to commit troops to safe Kabul airport in Afghanistan is “extremely welcome” by the Biden administration.

“They know what the mission is,” Nuland instructed Congress.

The two international locations are nonetheless in talks about Ankara’s supply to go away its roughly 500 troops at Kabul airport after NATO and US forces withdraw from Afghanistan, a move that American officers have stated is crucial to sustaining worldwide diplomacy in Kabul because the Taliban advance.

Erdogan on Tuesday affirmed his authorities would fulfill the supply if the United States provides help to the mission.

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