To Greece’s Relief, Trump Signs Bill Delaying F-35 Sales to Turkey

President Donald Trump signs the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2019, during a signing ceremony Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, in Fort Drum, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

After pushing the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey – which critics said could be used against Greece if a conflict arose – US President Donald Trump signed a defense budget law delaying the deal for 90 days.

The $716 billion John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) prohibits the sale until the Pentagon produces a report on the risks entailed by the fellow NATO member-country’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

Turkey received its first pair of a projected 100 aircraft in June. The jets remain in the US while their Turkish pilots receive training. Delivery will not take place before September 2019.

But relations with Turkey have gotten tense after Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel after failed talks to release Andrew Brunson, a 50-year-old American evangelical minister, imprisoned since 2016 for his alleged antigovernment activity against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

President Trump signs the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act

WATCH: President Trump signs the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act.The president did not mention Sen. McCain in his address to service members at Fort Drum.

Posted by NBC News on Monday, August 13, 2018

That has also put the Turkish lira in trouble with Erdogan saying the US is trying to conduct economic war against his country and that he won’t back down in the case of Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for 23 years and denied any role in the attempted coup against Erdogan which Turkey said was engineered by a rebel cleric living in Pennsylvania, Fethullah Gulen.

In July, with two having already been sold, the White House said Turkey should be allowed to buy nearly 100 F-35 fighter jets.

Trump opposed to Congressional initiatives by lawmakers friendly to Greece that would restrict the transfer of the F-35s, the Director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney said in a letter.

“Turkey is an important NATO ally and has been an international participant with the F-35 program since 2002,” Mulvaney wrote in the July 9 letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby.

President Donald Trump talks with Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt as they watch an air assault exercise at Wheeler-Sack Army Air Field in Fort Drum, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“The administration shares the Congress’s concerns over recent Turkish actions but opposes language that preemptively restricts its ability to work with Turkey to address those concerns,” he added.
Greece is an important NATO ally too, the US said, even while doing nothing while continues to send warships past Greek islands and flood Greek airspace with F-16 fighter jets who are frequently in mock dogfights by Greek pilots, who would be at a disadvantage against F-35s.

Erdogan won re-election in snap polls he called that also gave him near-dictatorial powers as he has stepped up provocations in the Aegean against Greece and Cyprus, where Turkish warships are trying to block foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas.

The Senate committee said that the transfer of the F-35s should not occur “until the Secretary of State certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the government of Turkey is not purchasing the S-400 missile defense system from Russia and will not accept the delivery of such a system.”

President Donald Trump points to the crowd as he signs the $716 billion defense policy bill named for Sen. John McCain during a ceremony Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, in Fort Drum, N.Y. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

US Senator Chris Van Hollen in June announced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2019 State, Foreign Operations Act calling a halt to the pending delivery of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey but Trump wants to let Turkey have both the American fighter jets and the Russian missile defense system that could also be used against Greece.

Greece and Turkey earlier this year came to the edge of a conflict after Greek ships were twice rammed off the rocky, disputed islets of Imia where they had nearly gone to war in 1996, and where three Greek servicemen died in a helicopter crash amid unrelenting speculation they were shut down and the incident covered up.

Leading Greek-American groups and members of Congress who side with Greece had seen their calls go unheeded.

1 Comment

  1. This is hilarious…. Donny Trump…. will sell Turkey the F-35’s fighters, not because they remove themselves from Cyprus, or stop threatening Cyprus and Greece territories, or for not releasing an Evangelical Pastor in Turkey from prosecution for alleged to be one of the many missionary operatives funded by the C.I.A. spying around the world….but because they are purchasing from Russia a superior S-400 missile system !

    So , the totalitarian government of the United states has again.spoken….to one of its insubordinate allies or better vassal states….first …they demand more tribute by the Nato countries to …..increase their military expenditures ….to spend less money on their people…in order to meet the threat of the ….latest Boogeyman to the demented degenerates in Washington D.C. ….nuclear power Russia!
    They then tell Germany….. they must not buy oil and gas from Russia, but the United States, and terminate a gas pipeline construction….which will provide directly …cheaper oil and gas for the people of Germany, because the U.S. does not want Russia to have any influence in Germany!

    The empire ….then orders the EU countries to not buy Oil and Gas from the country of Iran…because, the United States empire has decided that it wants to renege on an international agreement with the country of Iran…and impose economic warfare.on Iran…..and demands compliance of the world to their demands, or be punished by the empire!

    The empire…. has now embargoed the poorest countries of the world…like Yemen….where yesterday…some Lockeed Martin missiles slaughtered 45 children in a school bus….fired by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or the United States…representing another war crimes bombing…which the sick and demented society of the American People will cheer on….and the media …will suppress!

    And according to the TNH Headline..’..A relief to Greece’! No Greece, this should not be a relief to Greece, because, who do you think…..blackmailed for there financial and military interests, like Turkey…but none other than Greece…it getting them to turn over the culture of Macedonia, or demanded they destroy a relationship with Russia!

    The United States is at war with the world….both economically, politically, and mllitarilly….to consolidate and expand it control of all the sovereign nations of the world! Simple as that….it is this Global plan…supported by a government , now run by a secret society of billionaires.!

    They now are dropping one bomb every 12 minutes on a country of the world …and just killed 31/2 million people in the middle east…..and are now looking to build on this !

    Yet , only a decadent society with no moral backbone….can remain silent to the attrocities being imposed …in our names! Face fhe facts….this is now a Totalitarian regime….and are so ideologiccally diluted…that they will kill every human on the face of this earth…to meet their needs!

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