Additional S-400 air defense components have arrived in Turkey, as Washington remains unusually silent while reportedly contemplating the proper timing and degree of pain it wants to inflict on its NATO ally for disobedience.
An Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane landed at Murted Turkish Air Force base just outside Ankara on Saturday with the latest batch of the S-400 parts, the country’s Defense Ministry confirmed, a day after three gigantic Antonov An-124 jets delivered the first components of the defense system. The cargo was welcomed by a large number of military personnel and offloaded by heavy-duty military trucks into secure hangars.
Despite the lack of immediate reaction from Washington, the White House currently working on a sanctions package which will be invoked under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The content and the degree of the punitive measures has reportedly already been carefully debated between State Department and National Security Councils officials together with the Pentagon.
Now, it is up to Trump to sign off on the package, which however is unlikely to come before the end of next week, as the administration allegedly wants to “wait until after Monday’s anniversary” of the Turkey military coup attempt as to “avoid fueling further speculation” about Washington’s possible involvement.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the failed July 15, 2016 rebellion on the cleric living in the US under CIA protection, and – amid soaring relations with Washington which accused of brutal and undemocratic crackdown on the coup plotters – began increasingly turning towards Russia for defense supplies.
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