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Did Turkey proceed with testing its S-400 air-defense missiles?

A missile was fired into the sky on Friday on Turkey’s Black Sea coast town of Sinop where the military was expected to test its newly purchased Russian-made S-400 defence systems. Testing of S-400 could create tensions between Turkey and the United States and the NATO, as the purchase from Russia could compromise the shared defense systems of the NATO.

The video, taken in the coastal city of Sinop, showed a narrow column of smoke headed high into the blue sky. In recent days Turkey had issued notices restricting air space and waters off the coastal area to allow firing tests.

The restrictions were issued for 6 hours and included aircraft flights 200,000 feet.

Tests of the S-400s, if verified, could stoke tensions between Turkey and the United States, which sharply opposed Ankara’s purchase of the weapons from Moscow on grounds they compromise shared NATO defence systems.

 

On social media, the S-400 testing was celebrating, however, Turkey’s defence ministry said it would neither deny nor confirm missile tests.

Washington reacted last year by suspending Turkey from its F-35 jet programme and has threatened sanctions.

Defence analyst Turan Oguz said a preliminary assessment of the colour, 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.

Last year the military conducted radar tests of the surface-to-air defences, which is among the world’s most advanced and can spot and track incoming aircraft at medium and long ranges.

Turkey signed the S-400 deal with Russia in 2017. Deliveries of the first four missile batteries, worth $2.5 billion, began in July last year.

Last week – after reports of the planned tests circulated – two U.S. senators called again for President Donald Trump’s administration to impose sanctions on Turkey.

A video purporting to show S-400 components in transit circulated on social media on Oct. 6, according to Al-Monitor.

The testing of the Russian missile defence system is likely to increase tensions with the United States, which opposed the purchase of the system on the grounds that it compromises and is incompatible with NATO’s missile defence systems.

The United States is also concerned that the S-400’s integration will allow Russia to gain access to information on NATO’s defence system, including the F-35 fighter jets.

Also the NATO had warned Turkey on the S-400.

sources: reuters, Greek media, ahval

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