Trump administration 'very upset' about Turkish purchase of Russian missiles, national security adviser says

Trump administration 'very upset' about Turkish purchase of Russian missiles, national security adviser says
© Getty Images

National security adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday defended the U.S. response to Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria, adding that the Trump administration is "very upset” about Ankara's purchase of Russian missiles.

“We’re very upset about that,” O’Brien said on CBS’s “Face the Nation," adding that “there will likely be sanctions” if Turkey does not “get rid of” the weapons. 

“There’s no place in NATO for the S-400 [missile defense system], there’s no place in NATO for significant Russian military purchases, and that’s a message that the president will deliver to [President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] very clearly when he’s here in Washington,” O’Brien added.

O’Brien similarly said the U.S. remains “very concerned” about possible Turkish war crimes in northern Syria, insisting “we’re not rewarding the behavior, the president put on sanctions.” Host Margaret Brennan noted, however, that the sanctions were lifted after the U.S.-brokered ceasefire between Turkey and Kurdish forces.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Some of the things that we’ve seen are very disturbing… we’re very concerned about the war crimes issues, we’re watching them, we’re monitoring them very closely,” O’Brien added. “There is no place for genocide, for ethnic cleansing, for war crimes in the 21st century, the U.S. won’t stand by for it and we’ve made that position very clear to the Turks.”

Erdoğan and Trump are scheduled to meet in Washington this week amid tensions over both the Syrian incursion and the House of Representatives passing a resolution recognizing Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire after several previous attempts were stymied by Turkish lobbying.