Turkey gains US support for the purchase of F-16 fighter jets
Turkey is possibly preparing for an offensive as purchase of US military jets is approved by Washington.
Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah reported on Wednesday that Washington expressed support for Turkey's request to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes, in what is estimated to be a $6 billion deal.
Last month, Turkey announced its desire to launch a military offense in Northern Syria following a series of offenses that took place against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters in northern Iraq.
That decision was retracted five days ago, after Erdogan announced Turkey is no longer intending to prepare an offense following objections from Russia and other regional actors during the NATO summit.
US support for Turkey has been expressed in a press conference on the sidelines of the NATO summit held in Madrid last week. US President Joe Biden said the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey is advisable, and that congressional approval would be obtained after completing the legal process to finalize the sale.
The approval could signify that the US is providing Turkey with a green light to pursue its military plans in Syria. Hamidreza Azizi, CATS fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, thinks that, given the course of events, the Turkish offense is inevitable.
“It (will) happen sooner or later. Because Turkish leaders have been maneuvering on what they see as threats Turkey is facing from northern Syria, we should expect some kind of military operation,” he told Arab News.
“But the scope of the operation has been a matter of speculation because, in the beginning, Turkish officials were talking about a vast area from Tal Rifaat and Manbij to east of the Euphrates, but they reconsidered after US opposition to the expansion of the operation east of the Euphrates,” Azizi said.
Azizi expects a limited operation to happen, the main aim of which would be to expand Turkey’s zone of influence in the area.