Israel worked behind the scenes to ensure the United States blocked the sale of its F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey as part of its efforts to preserve its military qualitative edge in the region, Channel 12 reported Wednesday.
Israel in recent months lobbied Washington to drop Ankara from the F-35 program after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went ahead with a purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system that would give Turkey advanced air capabilities.
Washington said the S-400 missile defense batteries would compromise the F-35 program and aid Russian intelligence. Channel 12 reported that Israeli officials were similarly concerned that details of the aircraft’s advanced capabilities would leak to neighboring countries.
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