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VIDEO shows Turkey test-firing Russian-made S-400 air defense missile system for FIRST TIME – Reuters

VIDEO shows Turkey test-firing Russian-made S-400 air defense missile system for FIRST TIME – Reuters
A video from Turkey’s Black Sea coast allegedly shows that Ankara has fired a missile from its S-400 air defense system for the first time, Reuters reports. The Russian-made weapon sparked a bitter rift between Turkey and the US.

Footage published by Reuters on Friday shows a narrow trail of smoke heading into the sky. The news agency said that that it had been filmed in the coastal city of Sinop where the military was expected to test the S-400s.

The Turkish defense ministry told Reuters that it would neither confirm nor deny that tests had taken place.Turkish media reported last week that the army had been planning to use the S-400s on ten aerial targets in the Sinop area. The government issued a notice that a "missile firing" would take place at up to 200,000 feet between October 13 and 16.

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Ankara took delivery of two batteries of the S-400 last year, saying that the systems would be operational in April 2020. The contract with Moscow caused a diplomatic row with Turkey's longtime NATO ally, Washington. The US argued that the purchase of Russian-made weapons undermines the alliance and attempted to pressure Ankara into scrapping the deal. When Turkey refused, the US removed the nation from its F-35 program and canceled the planned shipment of fighter jets to the country.

Defending the arms deal with Russia, Turkey insisted that it serves its national interests and that Ankara is free to choose who to buy weapons from, regardless of foreign pressure.

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