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Congress splits over F-35 sale to Turkey

Parochial interests are undermining a united stance against Ankara in the US Senate.
U.S. airmen walk next to a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft, as it is moved, on the eve of the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 18, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol - RC15E3E8E180

Congress is hamstrung over what to do about the growing number of US grievances against Turkey.

Senate debate ahead of this week’s vote on annual defense legislation has laid bare deep divisions among lawmakers who broadly agree that Congress should push back against Ankara’s moves to imprison a US pastor and buy Russian weapons. The dispute is fueled in part by competing parochial interests pitting US defense industry jobs against human rights concerns, with a multibillion dollar deal to sell more than 100 F-35 jets to Turkey hanging in the balance.

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