Three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, (rear to front) AF-2, AF-3 and AF-4, flies over Edwards Air Force Base in this December 10, 2011 handout photo provided by Lockheed Martin. Darin Russell/Courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters: U.S. Senate defense bill would bar Turkey from buying F-35 jets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate committee passed its version of a $716 billion defense policy bill on Thursday, including a measure to prevent Turkey from purchasing Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.

The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, from Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis, would remove Turkey from the F-35 program over its detention of U.S. citizen Andrew Brunson, Shaheen’s office said.

Brunson, a Christian pastor who could be jailed for up to 35 years, denied terrorism and spying charges in a Turkish court this month. He has been in pre-trial detention since 2016.

It also faults NATO ally Turkey for its agreement with Russia in December to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries. Ankara wants the system to boost its defense capabilities amid threats from Kurdish and Islamist militants at home and conflicts across its borders in Syria and Iraq.

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WNU Editor: Turkey is suppose to get their first F-35 on June 21.

War News Updates Editor
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