U.S House May Vote to Block F-35 Sale to Turkey

WASHINGTON, D.C — Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s amendment would prohibit the transfer of U.S defense articles to Turkey and, instead make them available to Kurdish Peshmerga forces, who have played an instrumental role in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). Rep. Rohrabacher, who serves as Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, presided over the hearings spotlighting the Erdogan ordered attacks in May.

Meanwhile, a Democratic lawmaker from Rhode Island, is seeking to block the U.S sale of Lockheed Martin made F-35 fighter jets to Turkey over an attack on protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington two months ago. Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has proposed the ban as an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by the House Armed Services Committee last month. The House is expected to take up the bill and deal with amendments this week.

Turkey plans to purchase more than 100 of the F-35A conventional take off and landing variant. The country expects to received its first F-35 in 2018. Rep. Dave Trott (R-MI) has proposed a “sense of Congress” amendment disapproving of a proposed $1.2 million sale of Sig Sauer made semi-automatic handguns to Turkey. Trott had spearheaded a letter along similar lines that attracted 36 signatures, including the Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, (R-CA), and ranking member Adam Schiff (D-CA).

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