Turkey remains determined to operate S-400s

Turkey is pushing ahead with plans to activate a Russian antiaircraft system despite persistent warnings from the United States the move will unleash economic sanctions, apparently betting that Washington won’t follow through on its threats to punish a strategic ally it does not want to lose to Russia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met his counterpart Donald Trump at the White House last week, and while they failed to reach a breakthrough in the dispute over Turkey’s acquisition of the advanced S-400 missile system, they both heralded the friendly meeting as a “new page” in Turkish-US ties.

They left a litany of other disputes unresolved, including a criminal lawsuit against a Turkish state bank for allegedly helping Iran dodge sanctions that could potentially harm the country’s entire banking system and Turkey’s incursion into Syria last month to fight US-allied Kurdish militants that had forced US forces to hastily withdraw.