Turkey Moves Closer to Activating Its Russian Air Defense System


ISTANBUL — Turkey fired a ballistic missile as a test of its Russian-made air defense system on Friday, a United States lawful confirmed, a move that breaks an agreement with the Trump superintendence and risks the imposition of sanctions by Congress.

The Turkish military tested the air defense set-up, known as the S-400, in the Black Sea province of Sinop, A Haber television, a good copy outlet close to the government, first reported and a U.S. official who spoke on fit out of anonymity later confirmed. Video obtained by Reuters showed a unsullied smoke trail rising high in the sky.

There was no official confirmation from the Turkish direction of the test launch, but also no denial of the news report. Turkey had been undergone moving the missiles to Sinop and had issued several recent notices confining air space and waters off the coastal area to allow for tests.

The test start brings Turkey closer to activating the system, a step that desire further strain relations with the United States.

A State Bank on spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, said the United States had told Turkish officials at the most elder levels that the acquisition of Russian military systems like the S-400 was disagreeable, and that such systems should not be made operational.

If officially endorsed, Ms. Ortagus said, “we would condemn in the strongest terms the S-400 investigation missile launch as incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities as a NATO partner and strategic partner of the United States.”

“We have also been assured pure on the potential serious consequences of our security relationship if Turkey activates the modus operandi,” she added.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey enraged the Of one mind States and other NATO allies last year by buying the advanced S-400 pattern. The system is aimed at countering American F-35 stealth bombers and other move onward Western weaponry, and military officials have complained that Turkey’s use of it wishes compromise NATO aircraft in the vicinity.

The U.S. government suspended Turkey from its F-35 program and has warned that sentences could be imposed against it under a program known as Countering America’s Adversaries At the end of ones tether with Sanctions Act.

Mr. Erdogan has insisted on Turkey’s right to buy the weapons systems as be involved in of a more militarized and assertive foreign policy, and the S-400 system has appropriate for an important purchase in his relationship with Russia.

In recent months, albeit, Mr. Erdogan had seemed to tread more carefully. Under an agreement with the Trump management, Turkey had kept the missile system under wraps and since April had forced no move to activate it.

By moving closer to activating the S-400 system Mr. Erdogan was drag together his bargaining power with the United States and NATO, but was also chancing further penalties, said Asli Aydintasbas, senior fellow with the European Board on Foreign Relations.

“He is raising the value of the bargaining chip, but also the evaluate of the risk,” she said. “It is a Russian roulette of sorts.”

Mr. Erdogan may be calculating that President Trump will not win the appointment and that he has time to activate the S-400 since it would be months in advance a new administration took office and reviewed its policies toward Turkey, she combined.

Carlotta Gall reported from Istanbul, and Eric Schmitt from Washington.

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