Lawmakers move to block delivery of F-35s to Turkey, demand Brunson’s release
by Les Sillars
Posted 7/24/18, 02:45 pm
Lawmakers in Congress Monday approved a measure that would temporarily bar deliveries of about 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Turkey while demanding the immediate release of imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson. Bloomberg reports the jets would be held back until the Pentagon can assess the measure’s effect on the tense relationship between the two countries. The House and Senate Armed Services committees included the ban in the Pentagon’s budget blueprint for the next fiscal year, The Washington Times reported. The bill included language demanding the release of Brunson and any other “U.S. citizens wrongfully or unlawfully detained in Turkey.” It awaits approval in the full House and Senate.
Earlier this month Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned Congress that although, like Congress, he too was worried about human rights and the rule of law in Turkey, cutting off the fighter jets could disrupt supply chains, driving up costs and delaying deliveries of the F-35.
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