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Thursday, August 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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US orders end to Turkey’s involvement in F-35 program

In this Wednesday, May 29, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Air Force, two U.S. F-35A Lightning IIs break away from each other after an aerial refuelling mission over an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The Pentagon has notified Turkey that it is canceling its purchase of F-35 fighter jets if the Turkish government goes ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system. (Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski / AP)
In this Wednesday, May 29, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Air Force, two U.S. F-35A Lightning IIs break away from each other after an aerial refuelling mission over an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The Pentagon has notified Turkey that it is canceling its purchase of F-35 fighter jets if the Turkish government goes ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system. (Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski / AP)
By Lolita C. Baldor Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has notified Turkey that it is canceling its purchase of F-35 fighter jets if the Turkish government goes ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has sent a letter notifying Turkey that all training of Turkish pilots will also end as of July 31. And all Turkish personnel connected to the F-35 program must leave the country by the end of that month.

Shanahan’s letter to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Aka also says Turkey won’t be allowed to take final delivery of the four F-35s it bought.

The letter is the latest in an ongoing dispute over Turkey’s decision to buy the Russian-made S-400 system. The U.S. has repeatedly warned Ankara that the Russian system is considered a threat to the F-35.

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