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F-16 Deal Contingent on Turkey’s Support for NATO Expansion, Syria

Written by on January 17, 2023

Turkey’s F-16 fighter jet request from the United States and the possibility of another operation by Turkish military in northern Syria are expected to top the agenda during talks in Washington when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday. Analysts say any F-16 deal would be tied to Turkey’s timely support for NATO’s expansion and no military action in northern Syria.

Turkey made an official request to purchase 40 F-16 jets and nearly 80 modernization kits from the United States in 2021. Biden administration officials have expressed support for the proposed sale, subject to approval by Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the administration is preparing to begin consultations with Congress to seek approval for the $20 billion sale.

James Jeffrey, chair of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center, argues that any prospective support from Congress would depend on cooperation from NATO member Turkey on two issues: No military incursion into northern Syria and not blocking the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO.


Begum Donmez Ersoz

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