“We write about a public report that Turkey has activated the radar system of the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft system, to detect US-made F-16 fighter jets returning from the Eunomia exercises conducted by France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus in late August as response to Turkey’s unwarranted aggression in the East Mediterranean, “said Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen and Republican Senator James Lankford in a letter to US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. (Read: Turkey will be re-supplied with Russia’s S-400 missile system, a weapon that has made the US angry)
In November 2019, Turkey used a US-acquired F-16 fighter jet as a “guinea pig” for the S-400 missile system radar purchased from Russia. The test also angered Washington, but the Trump administration did not impose sanctions on Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
“In light of this information, we once again urge you to impose sanctions on Turkey as required by law,” continued the letter by the US Senators as quoted from Sputniknews, Thursday (8/10/2020). (Read: Operates 2,500 Russian Aircraft and S-400s, US Deems China a Great Threat)
Lawmakers have asked Pompeo to provide information on October 14 about whether Turkey did indeed activate the S-400 to detect F-16 fighter jets returning from exercise Eunomia and whether it also integrated Link 16, NATO’s tactical data link, into the S-400 system. , which they say could allow Russia to gather information about NATO allies.
Earlier in the day, the news agency Sputnik Turkey reported that Ankara has deployed S-400 air defense systems to Black Sea province; Samsun, suggests that the activation is considered for testing. Turkish authorities have yet to make an official statement on the deployment of the advanced missile system. (Also read: Russia says it has no problem supplying Iran with the S-400 missile system)
A spokesman for the US State Department told Sputniknews that the United States is aware of this report and deeply concerned, adding that the S-400 transaction puts Turkey at risk of potential sanctions under the Against America’s Enemies Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
In 2017, Russia agreed to sell S-400s to Ankara, sparking outrage among Turkey’s NATO allies, particularly the United States.