First Russian S-400 missile system planned to be delivered to Turkey in 2019: Defense minister
Speaking to the parliament’s Planning and Budget Committee, Canikli said the agreement for the procurement of the missile system was signed and two S-400 systems, with one being optional, would be procured as part of the agreement.
“Once these systems are received, our country will have secured an important air defense capability. This solution aimed at meeting an urgent need will not hinder our commitment to developing our own systems,” he said.
Turkey has also had talks with the Franco-Italian EUROSAM consortium on developing its own missile defense systems, after signing a memorandum to strengthen cooperation on defense projects between the three countries, Canikli said.
“With the memorandum in question, Turkish, French and Italian firms have started cooperation to identify, develop, produce and use a more advanced version of the SAMP-T [missile system] in a common consortium,” he said.
US arms provided to YPG ‘could furnish an army of 30,000 troops’
Although Turkey conveyed its unease at Washington for arming the YPG fighters, Canikli said they have observed an increase in arms support, both in terms of quality and quantity, to the Syrian Kurdish group which Ankara assumes to be an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The U.S. suggested that the majority of those transferred to Syria were for use by U.S. personnel, Canikli said, expressing his suspicion for this argument since the American army has 500 troops in the war-torn country according to the figures provided by U.S. officials.
Elaborating on the purge within the Turkish Armed Forces after the July 15 coup attempt, Canikli said a total of 8,570 personnel from the military were discharged after they were “determined to have organic links” to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).