The US has imposed sanction on a key official in Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries, Turkey’s military procurement agency, following the procurement of S-400 defence missiles from Russia.
The ban targets Ismail Demir, chief of the Presidency of Defence industry, and three other senior Turkish officials. The sanctions will block any assets held by the officials in the US and impose a travel ban on them. There is a further ban on most export licences, loans and credits to the agency.
Turkey warns it will retaliate
Turkey has responded warning that it “will retaliate in a manner and timing it deems appropriate” and has urged “the US to reconsider this unfair decision”. They further claim that they were forced to purchase the weapons from Russia after the US refused to sell their “Patriot missiles”.
Russian officials have also spoken out against the US decision.
In March UN investigators detailed mounting war crimes committed by Turkish and Russian forces. They noted that an estimated one million civilians have been forced to flee Idlib in the northwest of Syria.
Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish held regions of northern Syria, which are fighting for political autonomy, have been particularly brutal.
The decision comes a month before Joe Biden is set to assume office. The incoming administration has voiced their opposition to Turkey acquiring the S-400 missiles as well as the disunity it may cause in NATO.
Read more from Al Jazeera and the US State Department