Reports surfacing from Turkey indicate that Turkey conducted test fires of the S-400 air defense system. An influential member of NATO, Turkey tested the air defense system manufactured in Russia. This raises a new concern about a standoff with the United States. The test video shows the test-fire being conducted over the Black Sea near the coastal city of Sinop.
Turkey tests the Russian S-400 air defense system
A Haber, a television channel with close affiliation to the government, reported on its website that Turkey conducted the tet fire of S-400 air defense system at Black Sea, Sinop. The reports about the location were derived from an amateur test video that was allegedly filmed in Sinop. The test video demonstrates a contrail shooting into the sky with full force. Other media channels have also reported that the test-fire was conducted in the Black Sea, Sinop.
Turkey has refused to comment on the testing of the air defense system. The Turkish military and defense officials have maintained secrecy regarding the matter. This is primarily due to the fact that Washington demonstrated strong objection towards Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 air defense system that was manufactured in Russia. As a result, Washington also suspended turkey from partaking in its high-tech f 35 fighter jet program. The reason for Turkey’s suspension is the S-400 air defense system, which Washington considers a threat to the stealthy aircraft.
Washington has also explicitly warned Ankara that by acquiring the Russian aircraft, Turkey is risking sanctions by the United States. These sanctions can be imposed under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act in case the S-400 system is activated by Turkey.
Tensions between Turkey and the US
Turkey has maintained a stance that it was forced into buying the S-400 air defense system by Russia. This was done after Washington said no to selling the U.S Patriot system. Russia successfully delivered the first batch of the Russian defense system in 2019. Turkish officials previously said the S-400 would be functional in April but it has since delayed activating the air defense system.
General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary visited Turkey earlier this month. During his visit, he emphasized that the S-400 cannot be integrated within the NATO air and missile defense system. Forcefully activating the S-400 air defense system and can lead to sanctions by the United States via the Sanctions Act.
“If confirmed, we would condemn in the strongest terms the S-400 test missile launch as incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities as a NATO ally and strategic partner of the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus emphasized in a statement to the press. Defense analyst Turan Oguz told Reuters that a preliminary assessment of the color, intensity, angle and route of the smoke in the video coincided with S-400 missiles. The angle of the column suggested the target “must not be too high,” he added.
Here are the videos of Turkey’s S-400 air defense system testing
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) October 16, 2020