House OKs granting two missile ships to Turkey
WASHINGTON - Anatolia News AgencyThe U.S. House of Representatives approved on Dec. 31 a bill that would authorize U.S. President Barack Obama to grant two guided missile frigates to Turkey.
The bill was submitted by Republican member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democratic member Howard Berman, and was debated on the House floor through a suspension of rules that bypassed a preliminary debate in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
If the bill also gets the backing of the U.S. Senate, Turkey may receive the USS Halyburton and the USS Thach – both capable of firing guided missiles – along with several other countries, including Thailand and Mexico. The Turkish Naval Forces already posses Oliver Hazard Perry frigates, which were modified with the ASIST landing platform system at the Gölcük Naval Shipyard by the country’s Marmara Sea so they can now accommodate S-70B Seahawk helicopters.
The bill has angered the Washington-based Hellenic-American Leadership Council (HALC), which has begun pursuing action to halt the transaction, its official website has said.