A U.S. Senate committee passed its version of a $716 billion defense policy bill on Thursday, including a measure to prevent <link> <link> Turkey <link> from purchasing Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.
The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, from Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis, would remove <link> <link> Turkey <link> from the F-35 program over its detention of U.S. citizen Andrew Brunson, Shaheen’s office said. READ MORE: Erdogan to start election campaign from eastern Turkey <link>
Brunson, a Christian pastor who could be jailed for up to 35 years, denied terrorism and spying charges in a Turkish court this month. He has been in pre-trial detention since 2016.
It also faults NATO ally <link> <link> Turkey <link> for its agreement with Russia in December to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries. Ankara wants the system to boost its defense capabilities amid threats from Kurdish and Islamist militants at home and conflicts across its borders in Syria and Iraq.