Foreign Policy Digital

U.S. and Turkey Escalate Feud Over Russian Missile System

Erdogan may be using the S-400 dispute with Washington to deflect attention from problems at home.

The United States and Turkey appear to be on a diplomatic collision course yet again over Ankara’s plan to buy a sophisticated Russian air defense system that U.S. and European officials see as a threat to the F-35 fighter jet.

After months of hedging, the U.S. government this week took the first concrete step to block the delivery of the stealthy fighter jets to Turkey, unless Ankara backs away from the deal with Russia, ratcheting up tensions between the two countries.

The U.S. decision to halt delivery of jets and other related equipment to Turkey—which the U.S. Defense Department confirmed Monday after Reuters first reported the news—follows repeated warnings over the issue and an American offer to sell Turkey an alternative to the S-400, the Patriot missile system, at an acceptable price.

But Turkish

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