Turkish State Media Boasts Ankara’s New Russian Missiles Can Shoot Down US Aircraft
There's no love lost between these two formal allies
It was probably in 2004 that Americans first woke up to the fact the Turks, their NATO allies for decades, don’t actually like them much at all.
That was the year Turkey went crazy for “Metal Storm“, a book thriller in which the US invades and occupies Turkey and Turks detonate a nuclear bomb in Washington DC. It was followed by a 2006 spiritual sequel in which Turkish and Russian armies jointly march on Brussels to defeat a fascist EU.
Turns out US excesses in the “Global War on Terror” did not go unnoticed in country whose rulers just one hundred years ago proclaimed themselves Caliphs — leaders of all Muslims. Simultaneously nationalist Turks were sour on the US invasion of Iraq as it was to the advantage of its Kurds.
Between continued US war in Muslim countries, support for Syrian as well as Iraqi Kurds, support for Israel, and continued hospitality for Fethullah Gulen — Erdogan’s erstwhile ally now accused of staging the 2016 coup attempt — Turkish appreciation for the US has not increased since.
To the contrary, Turkish state media agency Anadolu is comfortable imagining Turkey’s future Russian-made missiles pointed at warplanes of their American NATO allies:
Turkey’s state run news agency Anadolu on Wednesday published an infographic showcasing the capabilities of the country’s new Russian-acquired S-400 missile defense system — and its ability to shoot down U.S. aircraft.
The graphic from the NATO ally’s news agency explains that the new S-400 can hit targets at 400 km away at 4.8 km per second. The infographic also says it can eliminate U.S. aircraft such as the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer, F-15, F-16, F-22 Raptor, and several other high tech U.S. aircraft.
— ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) September 20, 2017
Relations between Ankara and Washington have soured since Trump’s decision in May to arm Syrian Kurds in the fight against ISIS.
Ankara believes the Kurdish fighters are no different than the internationally designated terrorist group the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
On multiple occasions, Turkey has threatened to conduct a military campaign against the U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters.
Earlier this month, Turkey signed a deal with Russia to acquire the new S-400 air defense system from Russia, in yet another sign of Ankara’s pivot away from its NATO allies, according to a report from the BBC.
The deal is believed to be worth almost $2.5 billion.
Russia has several S-400 systems deployed throughout Syria. The system has yet to be tested despite numerous incursions by coalition and Israeli aircraft into the country.
Earlier this month, Israeli warplanes bombed a suspected Syrian chemical weapons and advanced missile base near the town of Masyaf in western Syria, according to the New York Times.
This is not the first time Anaduolu has published controversial material aimed at the U.S. Earlier this summer, the Turkish run news agency published locations of U.S. bases in Syria, according to a report from Military Times.