Turkey: No delays in delivery of S-400s from Russia

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar earlier said that the delivery of the S-400s may not happen in June but the supply agreement was a done deal. (Turkish Defense Ministry via AP)
Updated 31 May 2019

Turkey: No delays in delivery of S-400s from Russia

  • The US and Turkey have been at odds over Ankara’s decision to purchase the S-400s
  • Turkey previously said the missiles were due to arrive, but added the agreement was a done deal

ANKARA: The delivery schedule for Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey is continuing as planned, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Friday, dismissing reports of delay.
The US and Turkey have been at odds over Ankara’s decision to purchase the S-400s, which Washington says are not compatible with NATO systems and poses a threat to the F-35 stealth fighter jets. Ankara has proposed to form a working group to assess the US concerns, but has not received a response yet.
On Monday, broadcaster Haberturk quoted Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar as saying that the delivery of the S-400s may not happen in June, when Turkey previously said the missiles were due to arrive, but added the agreement was a done deal.
“Reports in some media outlets about Turkey evaluating delaying the S-400 procurement upon the request of the United States do not reflect the truth,” Aksoy said in a statement, adding that Ankara’s offer for a joint working group with Washington was still valid.


After Russia, China veto, UN says medical aid for Syria stuck in Iraq

Updated 35 min 49 sec ago

After Russia, China veto, UN says medical aid for Syria stuck in Iraq

  • “Some 400,000 medical items planned for delivery are stuck on trucks in Iraq and unable to cross,” says UN aid chief

UNITED NATIONS: Truckloads of medical aid for civilians in Syria’s northeast is stuck in Iraq, the United Nations aid chief said on Wednesday, after Russia and China prevented the UN Security Council from renewing authorization for the cross-border deliveries.
Earlier this month, the council allowed a six-year-long cross-border aid operation to continue from two places in Turkey, but dropped crossing points from Iraq and Jordan due to opposition by Russia and China. In December the two countries vetoed a bid to extend approval for both the crossing points in Turkey and Iraq.
“Some 400,000 medical items planned for delivery are stuck on trucks in Iraq and unable to cross,” UN aid chief Mark Lowcock told the council on Wednesday.
“The secretary-general (Antonio Guterres) has asked members of this council for their support in getting agreement that these items can be brought in,” he said. “As of today, they remain in Iraq.”
Lowcock said that the World Health Organization had warned that the removal of the Iraq crossing point from the cross-border aid operation would lead to “a reduction in the medical services available and a growing shortfall of medical supplies.”
Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia has dismissed concerns about closing the Iraq border crossing because he said the situation on the ground had changed and humanitarian aid was being delivered to the northeast from within Syria.
“Instead of whipping up passions here, we would recommend that OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) as quickly as possible establish effective cooperation with the legitimate authorities in Damascus,” he said on Wednesday.
Deputy US Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet said the closing of the Iraqi border crossing had cut off 40 percent of UN medical equipment and supplies to northeastern Syria.
“Russia has denied principled humanitarian aid for those in need throughout Syria for over eight years. Now, with China blindly following its lead, Russia has escalated its campaign to restrict humanitarian access in Syria through a cynical and politicized effort,” she told the council.
China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun rejected the US accusation as groundless.
“Every country is entitled to vote its own position,” Zhang said. “Do you think we’re still in a period of colonialism and the whole world has to side with the US and the UK? The time has long gone.”
Lowcock said the United Nations was in talks with all parties, including the Syrian government, “to ensure reliable and adequate supply lines and humanitarian capacity in the northeast” and called for the “crucial” reopening of a key highway.
“No United Nations convoys containing medical supplies have gone from Damascus to the northeast this month. There were three airlifts in December. There have been none so far in January,” Lowcock told the council.