Turkey has received the first two F-35 jets from the US, but with a catch: the planes will stay in the US until end of 2019 as Turkish pilots are training to fly them and Senate continues attempts to bar Ankara from getting F-35s.
Both Ankara and the Pentagon are set to complete a deal for F-35s, ignoring a decision by US lawmakers to torpedo the shipment of 100 fighter jets to Turkey. Their opinion doesn’t matter, Ankara has said.
Turkish and US troops have begun separate patrols along the line dividing the Turkish-controlled areas from the Kurdish-held town of Manbij, northern Syria, after Ankara and Washington agreed a “roadmap” on the Kurds’ withdrawal.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has praised plans for a national polar station in the Antarctic to be built by 2019. It will put Ankara on par with almost 30 other countries having a voice on human activity there.
A group of US congressmen has urged Defense Secretary James Mattis to scrap F-35 sales to Turkey, over national security concerns about the NATO ally’s plan to buy Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system, despite Washington’s pressure.