The United States strongly condemned NATO ally Turkey on Friday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the first test of a Russian-made S-400 air defense system and dismissed US criticism.
“The US Department of Defense condemns in the strongest possible terms Turkey’s October 16 test of the S-400 air defense system — a test confirmed today by Turkish President Recep Erdogan,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
“We object to Turkey’s testing of this system, which risks serious consequences for our security relationship,” Hoffman said.
“We have been clear and unwavering in our position: an operational S-400 system is not consistent with Turkey’s commitments as a US and NATO ally.”
“Turkey has already been suspended from the F-35 program and the S-400 continues to be a significant barrier to progress elsewhere in the bilateral relationship,” Hoffman said.
The Pentagon reaction came several hours after Erdogan confirmed that tests of the S-400, which was delivered to Turkey by Russia last year, had been carried out by the Turkish armed forces.
“It is true about the tests, they have been done and will continue,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul. “We’re not going to ask America for permission.”