Turkey, Russia 'to hold joint patrols' in Syria's Idlib

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"My best military advice would be that we don't... follow through with the F-35, flying it or working with an ally that's working with Russian systems, particularly air-defense systems.

So I would hope they would reconsider this one decision on S-400 - one system - but potentially forfeit numerous other systems and... one of the most important systems that we can provide".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country will move ahead with the purchase of Russian S-400 air-defence missiles, dismissing United States threats to cancel the sale of high-tech F-35 jets to Turkey.

The US fears the Russian system could be used to collect intelligence on the jet's stealth capabilities, but Erdogan said "we've researched it, there is no such thing".

Erdogan also noted Washington's decision to withdraw trade privileges from Turkey, warning that "no one should try to make us toe the line with such measures".

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When asked about Turkey's role in the production of key F-35 components, Scaparrotti suggested that it was dispensable, and stressed that the U.S. would reconsider the sale of other weapons systems to Turkey.

The issue has aggravated already souring relations with Ankara, including tensions over Syria. But Congress past year ordered a delay in future deliveries. "We've agreed with the Russians, we will go into joint production".

"Turkey does what is necessary for its own interests regarding the S-400 missile defence system, it takes its own decision and choice", he said, speaking to the Anadolu Agency. "We've completed the signatures with Russian Federation for the S-400 deal under very very suitable conditions and they've brought the delivery forward to July".

In December, the State Department approved the sale of a $3.5 billion US Patriot missile defense system to Turkey.

The leader of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Thursday criticized the U.S.' stand on an air defense systems deal between Ankara and Moscow.

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