11.09.2019 | Erdogan rages at Trump as missile feud rumbles on: 'Needs sorting out!
Source - The Daily Express
The Turkish President appears to be retaliating after the Trump administration questioned Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missiles. Turkey is a NATO member along with allies the US, Canada, the UK and most of Europe. Despite this Erdogan has moved closer to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the exchange of weapons poses a serious threat. With the missiles stationed in Ankara, strategists in Washington fear Putin can now gather intelligence on NATO's military operations.
The missiles also pose a threat to a new F-35 fighter jet developed by NATO.
Urging Erdogan to choose a side, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said: "It's either the F-35 or the S-400. It's not both.
"It's not park one in the garage and roll the other one out. It's one or the other.
"We are where we are and it's regrettable... Turkey's been a long-standing partner and ally and I would hope they would move back in our direction and really live up to what NATO agreed to many years ago."
Erdogan said it was unacceptable that other nations try to restrict Turkey's military matters.
He said: "Some nations have missiles with nuclear warheads – not just one or two. But (they say) I should not have missiles with nuclear warheads. I don't accept this.
"There is is almost no developed country in the world that does not have nuclear warheads."
Now, the Turkish President is undermining Washington once more, and criticised the Trump administration for its "lack of commitment" to construct a safe zone in Syria along the Turkish border.
He added that he will no longer sit back as US weapon shipments – amounting to more than 30,000 truckloads – are delivered to northern Syria.
He claimed that he would "sort out" the issue with President Trump at a meeting later this month.
Washington and Ankara have been at odds with one another over who should control northeast Syria, where Kurdish militias have had the luxury of receiving American weapons.
Erdogan has accepted four million refugees from Syria, but has criticised the EU saying they should do more to support to help with the crisis.
The EU has already given Turkey $7billion since 2015 to restrict the intake of refugees.
Immigration was a major criticism of Erdogan during the last Turkish mayoral elections in June, where Istanbul was taken from the ruling party after 25 years of rule.
With Erdogan in domestic chaos and international disputes, pressure is mounting on the Turkish President.