Turkey tested Russian S-400 missiles in defiance of U.S. sanctions’ threats

Reports, following the appearance of videos on social media, suggest that Turkey has begun live-fire testing of its controversial Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile system. Doing so risks provoking the wrath of traditional allies, especially the United States, which has threatened new sanctions in the past if Turkish authorities were to take this step.

By Thomas Newdick

Video footage emerged on social media earlier today of the reported “comprehensive test” of the S-400 system in the country’s Sinop province on the Black Sea coast. Though unconfirmed, they show narrow columns of smoke snaking into the sky over that region that do appear to be broadly consistent with S-400 missile launches that we’ve seen in the past.

The start of the air defense missile tests was subsequently reported by various outlets including the Associated Press, which noted that Turkish TV channel Haber, which AP describes as being close to the government in Ankara, had claimed to have confirmed the details.

Russia’s state-run TASS news agency subsequently quoted an unnamed source “in military and diplomatic circles,” stating that the Turkish S-400 tests involved three missiles being launched, all of which successfully engaged their designated targets.

The reported missile test also seems to follow a pattern of recently reported movements of S-400 system components within Sinop province. A number of videos have appeared in the last week or so claiming to show S-400 vehicles, apparently including transport-erector-launchers, on the move in the area, perhaps headed toward the test site. It’s also been reported that, in addition to the S-400 batteries, 10 British-made Banshee target drones were transported to Sinop for the tests. READ MORE HERE