ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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US kicking NATO ally Turkey out of F-35 fighter program

Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system ‘renders its continued involvement impossible,’ Pentagon says

A US Navy airman launches an F-35B Lightning II from the assault ship USS Essex, Sept. 27, 2018. (US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Francisco J. Diaz Jr./US Navy via AP)
A US Navy airman launches an F-35B Lightning II from the assault ship USS Essex, Sept. 27, 2018. (US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Francisco J. Diaz Jr./US Navy via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says Turkey can no longer be part of the American F-35 fighter jet program.

In a written statement, the White House said Wednesday that Turkey’s decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system “renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible.”

The White House did not say explicitly that Turkey will be kicked out of the F-35 program, but the Pentagon was expected to do so.

Turkey makes numerous components for the stealth aircraft. If Turkey is removed, as expected, the US will have to find alternative suppliers.

Military vehicles and equipment, parts of the S-400 air defense systems, are unloaded from a Russian transport aircraft at Murted military airport in Ankara, Turkey, July 12, 2019. (Turkish Defense Ministry via AP, Pool)

US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the S-400 purchase means Turkey will not be allowed to purchase any F-35 planes.

Yet to be announced is whether the US will impose economic sanctions on Turkey for its decision.

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