National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Turkey missile purchase, South China Sea tensions

U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien speaks at a press conference on the sidelines of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Nonthaburi, Thailand, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:54 PM PT — Sunday, November 10, 2019

The president’s National Security Adviser is saying Turkey’s purchase of Russian missiles will be addressed when President Tayyip Erdogan visits the White House this week.

During a Sunday interview, Robert O’Brien said the Trump administration was “very upset” after Turkey bought a Russian made missile defense system. He then proceeded to slam the notion a NATO ally would purchase weapons from Moscow, adding the Russian system is not compatible with NATO.

“If Turkey doesn’t get rid of the S-400s, there will likely be sanctions,” stated O’Brien. “There’s no place in NATO for the S-400 (or) significant Russian military purchases – that’s a message the president will deliver to him very clearly when he’s here in Washington.”

Erdogan’s visit to Washington comes as tensions escalate over Turkey’s alleged war crimes against Syrian Kurds following the U.S. troop removal from Northern Syria.

FILE – In this Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 file photo, Turkish soldiers, right, and Turkey-backed opposition fighters stand atop a building next to their flags in Ras al Ayn, northeastern Syria. (Ugur Can/DHA via AP, File)

O’Brien also announced that the U.S. will continue to stand up to China in the South China Sea despite a possible trade deal. The adviser said Beijing must not be allowed to take over the entire South China Sea simply because its bigger than its neighbors. He said the U.S. Navy will continue its operations to ensure freedom of navigation in the disputed region.

O’Brien went on to say America’s allies in Southeast Asia should maintain access to oil, gas and fisheries in the South China Sea.

“Just because one country’s big and other countries are small in the region, the bigger countries shouldn’t bully the smaller countries and take their resources — whether they’re fishery resources or oil and gas resources,” he said.

O’Brien also criticized the Obama administration for not sending lethal military aid to Ukraine, adding that it was President Trump who boosted America’s support for that country.

FILE – In this May 31, 2007, file photo, a Filipino fisherman sails past the USS Harpers Ferry, the U.S. Navy’s amphibious warship, as it anchors off the waters of Zamboanga city in southern Philippines. Forces from the U.S. and Brunei, whose South China Sea claims overlap with those of China, are holding joint exercises simulating the securing of a beach head and conducting jungle warfare and combat medical training inland.

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