The United States in evaluating the possibility of selling Patriot air defense systems to Turkey to support its ongoing military operation in Syria’s Idlib province.
“We understand Turkey's air defense wishes. This is under evaluation. We evaluate support for Turkey in terms of military, intelligence, diplomacy, humanitarian aid,” said David Satterfield, US Ambassador to Turkey, during his visit to southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, on Tuesday.
The US-Turkey relationship had soured in the last few months over Turkey’s $2.5 billion purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems. Ankara was even thrown out of the F-35 program.
“Turkey is a NATO country and uses our equipment in its army to a great extent. If they need, we would like this equipment to be ready," James Jeffrey, the US Syria envoy and former ambassador to Turkey said.
In its “Operation Spring Shield” launched on Sunday, Turkey has claimed to have shot down 3 Syrian fighters that includes two Russian-made Su-24s, besides destroying a number of their drones, tanks, trucks, air defense systems, armored vehicles and howitzers.
Meanwhile, Syria has shot down six Turkish combat drones. Citing the Russian defense ministry, Syrian government-run SANA News Agency reported that 15 Turkey-aligned militants suffered burns while trying to detonate chemical weapons in Idlib province in Syria on March 2.