US criticizes Turkey for testing Russian missile defense system; Erdogan unphased

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The US lashed out at Turkey Friday for the recent testing of its Russian-made missile defense system, hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Washington’s stance on the matter made no difference.

“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,” Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

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The Pentagon noted its objection to the testing of the system, which Hoffman said risked “serious consequences for our security relationship.”

Last week, a video showed a missile fired along Turkey’s Black Sea coast, where the military was expected to test its Russian-made S-400 defense systems.

At the time, there was no official confirmation from Turkey.

But State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said that if it were confirmed, the US would condemn the move “in the strongest terms.”

Ortagus said that such a move had the potential for severe consequences.

On Friday, Hoffman said the Pentagon condemned “in the strongest possible terms Turkey’s October 16 test of the S-400 air defense system.”

Erdogan has long ignored warnings from NATO and the US over repercussions for acquiring the Russian-made S-400. The Turkish president has also interfered in several countries in the region, including Libya, Syria, Iraq, Nagorno-Karabakh and, most recently, off the coasts of Greece and Cyprus.

The EU has sought to defuse tensions, and there have been calls for a firmer stance from Washington, where US President Donald Trump has touted his good relationship with Erdogan.

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