F-16 Sales Statement from the USA to Turkey
When asked about Turkey’s F-16 purchase request, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, “Turkey is a very valuable partner. We will continue to do our best to strengthen our relationship” said.
US Secretary of Defense Austin held a joint press conference with the Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, after the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting.
“Turkey demands to purchase modernization kits for its new F-16s and existing F-16s. Ankara says failure to get approval as soon as possible will undermine the security not only of Turkey but also of NATO.”
Austin answered the reporter’s question about the delivery of the F-16 Blok 70 aircraft to Turkey as follows;
“Turkey is a NATO ally and we have a long and strong relationship with Turkey. We are doing our best to keep it that way as much as possible. Maintaining interoperability among our NATO partners is very important to us. That will always be something we focus on and a top priority.”
Stating that he will not comment on pending arms and equipment sales requests until the Congress is notified, Austin said, “However, I must emphasize that Turkey is a very valuable partner. We will do our best to strengthen our relationship.” used the phrase.
Gen. Mark Milley, AA correspondent, said, “Your visit to Syria made headlines in Turkey. Finally, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Ambassador Flake to the Ministry to give an explanation. What was the message behind your visit?” He replied to the question:
“My visit was nothing more than a routine troop visit to check on mission, purpose and mission, what we were doing, things like force protection. We have about 100 soldiers in Syria. They are at risk. From time to time they are attacked by different groups with different ammunition. I went to review them. I went to see if the mission was accomplished and report what they were doing.”
Milley also stated that Turkey and the United States have common interests in defeating ISIS and, “The caliphate of ISIS has been destroyed, but the organization still has remnants there. There are still refugee camps and prisons there. I had to do this. It is perfectly appropriate for a chief of staff to visit forces, especially those that are in danger” said.