Last month, a U.S. Senate committee launched a defense policy bill that contained a measure that would prevent Turkey from buying Lockheed Martin-made LMT. N F-35 Combat Aircraft attached. NATO ally Turkey was also responsible for its agreement with Russia in December to buy the S-400 surface-to-air missile system. The move to purchase S-400s incompatible with NATO systems has angered NATO member countries, who are already wary of Moscow`s military presence in the Middle East, prompting NATO officials to warn Turkey of the unspecified consequences. Turkey plans to buy 100 of the F-35s and has discussions with Washington about buying Patriot missiles, which could be an alternative to the S-400 system. A Capitol Hill source said that if the sale of F-35 derailed and was not replaced by another buyer, each F-35 of the same model would increase the price by about $1 million for the United States and its allies. Ankara wants missile batteries to strengthen defense capabilities under threat from Kurdish and Islamist fighters in its own country and conflicts on its borders in Syria and Iraq. Ankara has threatened that a permanent U.S. engagement with the Syrian Democratic Forces could lead to a military intervention by Turkey, which could lead to a de facto conflict between two NATO allies.
At the same time, the Turkish government has worked more closely with Russia to signal the discontent and to signal that Ankara has other alliance options. In an extreme example, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to kill American soldiers in Manbij. The tactic was effective. U.S. politicians have been forced to travel to Ankara to reduce tensions and fences. The result was the roadmap and the insurmountable commitment of the United States to force the Syrian Democratic Forces to compromise. The agreement, if fully implemented, could lower tensions with Turkey, but also prompt the Syrian Democratic Forces to jeopardize U.S. interests or explore different allies. However, tensions around Manbij and the war of words between Ankara and Washington led to an increase in diplomatic traffic in early 2018. The phone call between Presidents Trump and Erdogan in January was followed by a visit by Foreign Secretary Tillerson and National Security Adviser McMaster to Turkey in February 2018. A meeting ensued between Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Minister Canikli.25 During the Tillerson meeting, the United States and Turkey took steps to end relations, a trend that continued under the leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Following Tillerson`s visit to Turkey in February 2018, the United States and Turkey announced a series of working groups to address specific issues related to bilateral relations.26 A U.S.
State Department official told reporters that “one of the goals is for the governments of the United States and Turkey to reach an agreement on how to guarantee security in Manbij.” 27 The current stability in Manbij refutes the complexity of the situation and the difficult situation facing the Syrian Democratic Forces. In March 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces agreed with the Assad regime to deploy a small number of troops to the western outskirts of the territory to prevent a Turkish invasion and drive the Syrian Kurds out of Manbij. In the north of the city, the United States and France have deployed troops and often conduct deterrence patrols to prevent Turkish attacks. The Turkish army has a large military base north of the Sajur River and controls the area to the west of the city. Allied non-governmental militias, which depend on Turkey, often fire on U.S. patrols just above the forward line. Operation SDF Manbij threatened to cross Turkey`s red line with regard to the presence of the YPG on the Western Euphrates.