television station News, which is close to the Turkish government, reported that Turkish soldiers conducted a test fire of the S-400 system in the northern province of Sinop near the Black Sea. (Read: Missile fired at Turkish S-400 Defense System Test Site)
“The launch of the missile is incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities as a NATO ally and strategic partner of the US,” the US State Department was quoted as saying. Voice of America, Sunday (18/10/2020).
A US Department of Defense spokesman said; “We have made it clear: the operation of the S-400 system is inconsistent with Turkey’s commitments as a US and NATO ally. We object to Turkey’s purchase of the system and are very concerned about reports that Turkey operates it.”
The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Jim Risch, called the weapons tests unacceptable behavior by NATO allies. (Read: US urges Turkey to withdraw Russian deployed S-400 missile systems)
Risch said in a statement that the move was damaging to NATO and posed a direct threat to US F-35 stealth fighter jets and other US and NATO allied systems.
“US law mandates sanctions against countries that continue to deepen their defense relationship with Russia, and the government must send a strong signal that Turkey must give up its S-400s,” said a Risch statement.
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said in a statement that Turkey should immediately be sanctioned for the purchase and use of Russia’s S-400 missile system. (Also read: Turkey denies using Russian S-400s to detect US F-16s)
Menendez did not exclude the Trump administration from criticism, saying; “President Trump’s failure to comply with the law and his proximity to (Turkish President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan poses a serious threat to our national security and to our NATO allies and partners in Europe.”
Turkey’s Defense Ministry has refused to confirm or deny having tested the S-400 missile system.
Turkey signed an S-400 purchase deal with Russia in 2017, with the first deliveries of $ 2.5 billion worth of missile batteries taking place in July last year.