Russia delivers more S-400 air defense equipment to Turkey

A Russian military cargo plane unloads S-400 missile defense system equipment at Murted military air base in Ankara on July 12, 2019. (Turkish Defense Ministry/AFP)
Updated 13 July 2019

Russia delivers more S-400 air defense equipment to Turkey

  • A fourth Russian cargo plane landed at the Murted air base near the Turkish capital Ankara
  • Washington has tried for months to prevent the deal, arguing that the Russian S-400 air defense system is incompatible with NATO systems

ISTANBUL: Russia flew a fresh shipment of advanced air defense equipment to Turkey on Saturday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said, continuing to implement a deal that is likely to trigger US sanctions against a NATO ally.
The ministry said a fourth Russian cargo plane landed at the Murted air base near the Turkish capital Ankara, a day after three huge Russian air force AN-124 planes offloaded equipment at the base.
Washington has tried for months to prevent the deal, arguing that the Russian S-400 air defense system is incompatible with NATO systems. It also says that if the S-400s are deployed near US F-35 jets, which Turkey is buying and helping to produce, they would undermine the stealth fighter planes’ defenses.
US officials had warned that Turkey would be thrown off the F-35 program if it took delivery of the S-400s, and would also face sanctions under US legislation seeking to prevent countries from buying military equipment from Russia.
Turkey says S-400 is a strategic defense requirement, above all to secure its southern borders with Syria and Iraq. It says that when it made the deal with Russia for the S-400s, the United States and Europe had not presented a viable alternative.
The dispute between the countries with the two largest armies in NATO marks a deep division in the Western military alliance, which was forged after World War Two to counter Moscow’s military power.
Reaction from Washington was limited on Friday, with acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper saying the US stance had not changed. Esper later spoke with Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.
“Minister Akar told his US counterpart that Turkey remains under a serious air and missile threat and that purchase of S-400 defense systems was not an option but rather a necessity,” a Turkish Defense Ministry statement said.
Investors in Turkey have been unsettled by the deal and the prospect of sanctions, a year after a dispute with Washington over the trial of a US pastor in Turkey contributed to a financial crisis which drove Turkey’s economy into recession.
Russia’s TASS news agency quoted an unnamed military-diplomatic source on Friday as saying that a further delivery – of 120 guided missiles – would be carried out by ship at the end of the summer.


Kuwait’s emir reappoints premier, removes defense and interior ministers

Updated 18 November 2019

Kuwait’s emir reappoints premier, removes defense and interior ministers

  • Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah asked Sheikh Jaber to form a new cabinet, state news agency KUNA said

DUBAI: Kuwait’s ruling emir on Monday reappointed Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah as prime minister but removed the defense and interior ministers, both senior members of the ruling family, from their posts after the government’s resignation last week.

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah asked Sheikh Jaber to form a new cabinet, state news agency KUNA said. Sheikh Jaber last week submitted the government’s resignation when lawmakers sought a no-confidence vote against the interior minister.

KUNA said in a separate statement that the emir ordered the removal of his son, Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and Interior Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah from their posts in the current caretaker cabinet.