State Department recognizes Russian S-400s in Turkey as a threat to the US military

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The head of the US State Department, Mike Pompeo, on Thursday, December 17, in a telephone conversation, told his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu that the Russian S-400 air defense systems bought by Ankara threaten the safety of American military personnel, the US Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Secretary of State Pompeo made it clear to Foreign Minister Cavusoglu that the purchase of the S-400 systems endangers the security of US military personnel and military technology, and also gives Russia access to Turkey’s military and its defense industry,” the State Department said in a statement.

Pompeo himself confirmed that he spoke with Cavusoglu.

“Our actions demonstrate that the US will fully implement (sanctions) CAATSA and prevent Russia from gaining revenues, access and influence,” he wrote in his Twitter

On December 16, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted that sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems show the United States’ inability to compete.

Earlier that day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the United States sanctions imposed on Ankara over the purchase of Russian S-400 systems were incompatible with allies and were an attack on Turkish sovereignty.

On December 14, the United States imposed restrictions on the Turkish Defense Industry Directorate and its head Ismail Demir under the Law on Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions. The measures also affected the employees of this department.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced its condemnation of the imposed sanctions and announced retaliatory measures.

Deliveries of Russian S-400 air defense systems to Ankara began in mid-June 2019.

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