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Turkey says it will retaliate against possible US sanctions

Mevlut Cavusoglu comments came amid reports that US lawmakers [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 December, 2019

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Turkey said on Wednesday it would retaliate against any US sanctions over its purchase of S-400 Russian defence systems.
Turkey's foreign minister suggested on Wednesday that the US could be barred from using two strategic air bases in retaliation to possible US sanctions against his country, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Mevlut Cavusoglu comments came amid reports that US lawmakers had agreed on a defence bill, which also includes calls to sanction Turkey over its decision to proceed with the purchase and deployment of Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems.

"In the event of a decision to sanction Turkey, the Incirlik and Kurecik airbases can be brought to the agenda," Cavusoglu said, according to Anadolu.

"Congress members must understand that it is not possible to get anywhere with sanctions," he added.

Incirlik Airbase in southern Turkey has been a main base for US operations in the Middle East and more recently in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, while Kurecik, in eastern Turkey, is a key NATO base.

Turkey's decision to proceed with the purchase of the Russian system has added to growing tensions between the two NATO allies.

Washington says the Russian system poses a threat to NATO and has removed Turkey from the US-led F-35 stealth fighter jet programme.

Tensions were raised further after Turkey launched an incursion into northeastern Syria to drive away Syrian Kurdish forces that had partnered with the US in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Turkey considers the Kurdish fighters as terrorists because of their links to outlawed Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey.

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