The US decision to exclude Turkey from an American-led fighter jet program goes against the "spirit of alliance," the Turkish government said Thursday, and called on its NATO ally to reverse the decision.
The United States said on Wednesday that it was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program, a move that had been long threatened and expected after Ankara began accepting delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system last week.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signaled reluctance to punish Turkey over its acquisition of a Russian air defense system, saying it was "not fair" that the United States would now be prohibited from selling Ankara billions of dollars worth of F-35 stealth fighter jets.
US President Donald Trump's nominee to become the next secretary of defense re-stated that Turkey cannot have the F-35 advanced stealth fighter jet and Russia's S-400 air defense system, which Moscow started delivering last week.
The Turkish defense ministry says two more Russian cargo planes have landed at an airfield near the capital, Ankara, as Russia continues to deliver parts of its S-400 missile defense system to Turkey in defiance of US objections.
Delivery of S-400 defense missile system continued on July 15, as eighth Russian plane carrying equipment of the system landed at an airbase on the outskirts of Ankara, Turkey's Defense Ministry said on July 15.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his U.S. counterpart talked by phone late on July 12 about issues related to Turkey's acquisition of a long-range missile defense system and recent developments in Syria.