US Congress Blocks F-35 Fighter Jets Sale to Turkey?

US Congress is intending to block the sales of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey and restrict Washington’s backing for Saudi War on Yemen in the closing version of the fiscal 2019 defence bill. EurAsian Times shares the Iranian perspective. 

According to House Armed Services Committee senior aides, the Pentagon must first submit a report to the legislators about the “overall strategic alliance with Turkey,” all international military hardware sales to Ankara and their choice to purchase the Russian S-400 air-defence system, The Hill reported.

The move was made in spite of Defense Secretary James Mattis’s request. The Pentagon chief had urged legislators not to obstruct the sale of the F-35 Jets, contending that it could start a “supply chain disruption” and drive their price higher.

“At this time, I oppose removal of Turkey from the F-35 program,” Mattis wrote in a July 7 letter. “If the Turkish supply chain was disrupted today, it would result in an aircraft production break, delaying delivery of 50-75 F-35s, and would take approximately 18-24 months to re-source parts and recover.”

The final defence bill also confirms that the US is curbing refuelling of Saudi Arabian and UAE jets bombing poverty-stricken Yemen. According to a senior official, “Yemen remains an area of great interest and concern for our members, and we have aggressive oversight in the conference report.”

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