BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:20 P.M.) – Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, Serdar Kılıç, said on Thursday that his country had not used the S-400 air defense systems that were purchased from Russia to detect the F-16 of the Greek Air Force in the Mediterranean.
The Yeni Akit newspaper quoted him as saying: “It is not possible to talk about anything like this, even if these weapons are tested, such action is coordinated through the military channels of NATO, of which we are members.”
The Turkish ambassador’s statement was preceded by an invitation from two U.S. senators to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to impose sanctions on Ankara, after reports of Turkey’s use of the Russian S-400 system to detect US F-16 fighters.
The plane was returning from the Eunomia exercise conducted by France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus at the end of August in response to unjustified Turkish aggression in the eastern Mediterranean.
Senators have asked Pompeo to impose sanctions in accordance with U.S. law and provide a response by October 14 on whether the S-400s were used to detect fighters and whether Turkey has integrated Russian air defense systems into NATO’s tactical data system.
On October 7, Yeni Akit reported that Turkey may soon conduct tests of the S-400 air defense system on the Black Sea coast.
The newspaper published a video clip, showing that part of the S-400 air defense system passes through the city of Samsun into the Sinop district in the north of the country.