Turkey warns of retaliation against potential US embargo on arms sales

On 6 May, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated Ankara will retaliate should the US 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which bans weapons sales to Turkey until the US State Department provides the Congress with a report on the US-Turkish relations, be signed into law.

The move undertaken by lawmakers confirms that even though Turkey is regarded as an important NATO ally and a big customer of the US military-industrial complex from which it plans to buy 100 F-35s, the Turkish-American relations have sunk to a low that cannot be ignored any longer. In the recent months, the US military has warned of potential direct confrontation with the Turkish army conducting military operations in Northern Syria against the Kurds, whom the US view as a regional pillar of their policies against Islamists and the Assad regime. Yet, on 5 May Turkey announced that it plans new operations in Syria, and possibly in Northern Iraq. Other issues of contention between Turkey and its Western Allies include Turkish president Erdogan indirectly blaming the West for supporting the organisers of the 2015 failed military putsch, in blackmailing the EU on migration, in his increasingly authoritarian manner of rule, but also in his ever-closer politico-diplomatic cooperation with Russia and Iran. 

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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