Lawmakers Again Attempt to Block F-35 Sale to Turkey

Three U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron from Hill Air Force Base Utah conduct flight training operations over the Utah Test and Training Range on Feb 14 2018

Three U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron from Hill Air Force Base Utah conduct flight training operations over the Utah Test and Training Range on Feb 14 2018

A bi-partisan group of U.S. senators introduced a bill on 26 April to prevent the transfer of the Lockheed Martin F-35A to Turkey.

Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., introduced the bill, which also seeks to revoke the Turkish government from having its country be a maintenance depot for the fighter jet.

Turkish companies have been involved in producing parts for the fighter, and Ankara is scheduled to begin receiving its first aircraft within a year.

"Turkey's strategic decisions regrettably fall more and more out of line with, and at times in contrast to, US interests", Lankford said in a statement.

The senators issued a statement expressing concern that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had embarked on a "path of reckless governance and disregard for the rule of law", arguing that "the transfer of sensitive F-35 technology and cutting-edge capabilities to Erdogan's regime is increasingly risky".

Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally and partner in fighting ISIS, has ordered a total of 100 conventional take-off and landing F-35As. Ankara charges that followers of a US -based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, were behind the coup attempt.

Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-30
The Leafs also trailed the Bruins 3-1 the last time the clubs met in the playoffs in 2013 before coming back to tie the series. He's off to a great start in the second round with a chance to become a major positive storyline in this Bruins' run.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed Friday that he met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the two reaffirmed a pledge to cooperate on the Syrian city of Manbij.

Brunson was in Turkey for 23 years before the accusation, according to The Hill.

Sen Lankford said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's disregard for the rule of law, diminishment of individual freedoms, consolidation of power and "strategic decisions" have fallen out of line with United States interests.

The limitations, however, could be waived by the president Trump upon proving to Congress that Turkey is not "taking steps to degrade NATO interoperability; exposing NATO assets to hostile actors; degrading the general security of NATO member countries; seeking to import or purchase defence articles from a foreign country with respect to which sanctions are imposed by the United States; or wrongfully or unlawfully detaining one or more United States citizens".

During the meeting Pompeo also raised concerns about the detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been in jail since December 2016, and other Americans detained by Turkey.

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