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Turkey Says it Might Retaliate Over New U.S. Sanctions

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12/11/2019 | 06:56pm EDT

By Courtney McBride

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday advanced bipartisan legislation that would punish Turkey for its purchase of a Russian anti-aircraft missile system and alleged crimes against Syrian Kurds, a measure that drew the ire of Turkish officials.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Turkish media ahead of the committee vote that Ankara would retaliate against the U.S. for any sanctions imposed over the Russian air defense purchase, including an unspecified warning about the U.S. use of two military bases in Turkey.

"If the U.S. imposes sanctions against Turkey, then the issue of the Incirlik and Kurecik bases may come on the agenda," Mr. Cavusoglu told Turkish television Wednesday.

Incirlik is a well-known base for U.S. forces and operations in Turkey; Kurecik is a radar station used for monitoring on behalf of North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations.

A bill written by the Foreign Relations Committee's chairman, Sen. Jim Risch (R., Idaho), and ranking Democrat, Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), would require the administration to develop a comprehensive strategy to counter the Islamic State terrorist group; to issue reports on Russian and Iranian influence in Syria; and to report to Congress on Islamic State's capabilities.

The measure also would impose sanctions on Turkey for its possession of the Russian S-400 air defense system, and bar the sale or transfer to Turkey of U.S. F-16 and F-35 fighter jets until the U.S. certifies Turkey's divestiture of the Russian missile system.

The State Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the legislation or the Turkish threat.

--David Gauthier-Villars in Istanbul contributed to this article.

Write to Courtney McBride at courtney.mcbride@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AT HOME GROUP INC. -7.50% 5.8 Delayed Quote.5.45%
BASE CO., LTD. -1.56% 4430 End-of-day quote.63.87%
BASE, INC. 9.43% 6150 End-of-day quote.250.43%
JUST GROUP PLC 0.38% 47.98 Delayed Quote.-39.27%
MCBRIDE PLC -1.29% 61 Delayed Quote.-31.07%
US DOLLAR / TURKISH LIRA (USD/TRY) 0.08% 6.8599 Delayed Quote.15.31%
VILLARS HOLDING S.A. 0.00% 725 Delayed Quote.-13.17%
WILL GROUP, INC. -2.16% 634 End-of-day quote.-49.36%
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