US may cancel fifth generation F 35 fighter get deal with Turkey
ANKARA - Turkey's deal to buy Russian S-400 missile defence systems had "nothing to do" with the security of the US, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday after a Pentagon warning.
He was speaking a day after Washington warned Ankara of "grave consequences" should the deal go ahead.
"It is very clear why Turkey has bought this air defence system, under what conditions it has bought them and how it will be used," Erdogan said in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
"Everyone knows that this issue has nothing to do whatsoever with NATO, the F-35 project and the security of the US," he said during the televised speech.
The "issue was not about the S-400s" but about Turkey "taking actions on its own accord", especially in Syria, he added.
Ankara's push to buy the systems from Moscow has caused tensions with its NATO ally, as Washington has raised questions over the equipment's compatibility with the alliance's established weapon systems.
The US believes the S-400 sale is part of Russian efforts to disrupt the alliance amid Western concern over Erdogan's burgeoning relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
US Defence Department spokesman Charlie Summers said on Friday there would be "grave consequences" for Turkey if it went ahead with the deal.
Turkey would withhold F-35 fighter jets or US Patriot missiles approved for sale to Ankara in December for $3.5 billion, he warned.
But Erdogan has insisted that Turkey will not cancel its plans to purchase the missiles.-APP/AFP