A rocket launches from a S-400 missile system on the Ashuluk army base in Southern Russia on September 22, 2020.

Dimitar Dilkoff | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon and State Department issued sturdy rebukes Friday following studies that Turkey’s army examined a Russia-made missile system, a transfer that might additional stoke tensions between Washington and the NATO member.

In current days, Turkey stated it was getting ready to test the Russian-made S-400, a cell surface-to-air missile system, that’s believed to pose a risk to the NATO alliance as well as America’s most expensive weapons platform: Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter.

Ankara brokered a cope with Moscow in 2017 for the S-400, regardless of warnings from the United States and different NATO allies. Moscow delivered the primary of 4 missile batteries in July 2019. Per week later, the United States cut Turkey, a financial and manufacturing partner, from the F-35 program after Ankara accepted supply of the Russian-made system.

Both the departments of Defense and State condemned Friday’s apparent missile test off Turkey’s Black Sea coast however wouldn’t affirm if the launch occurred.

“The United States has expressed to the Government of Turkey, at the most senior levels, that the acquisition of Russian military systems such as the S-400 is unacceptable,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus wrote in an emailed assertion. “The United States has been clear on our expectation that the S-400 system should not be operationalized,” she added.

“We object to Turkey’s purchase of the system and are deeply concerned with reports that Turkey is bringing it into operation. It should not be activated. Doing so risks serious consequences for our security relationship,” echoed chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman in an emailed assertion Friday.

Striking a cope with the Kremlin

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin final April. 

Adem Altan | AFP | Getty Images

In 2017, Turkish President Recep Erdogan brokered a deal reportedly price $2.5 billion with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the S-400 regardless of warnings from the U.S. that purchasing the system would include political and financial penalties.

Under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which President Donald Trump signed in August 2017, Turkey could possibly be slapped with financial sanctions for accepting the Kremlin’s missile system. The United States has not issued these sanctions on Turkey.

“The administration’s peculiar failure to implement CAATSA as the law requires is both a moral hazard and in marked contrast with the posture of ‘maximum pressure’ pursued in so many other cases,” defined Thomas Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project on the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Erdogan seems to have made a strategic choice to prefer Russia over the United States and other NATO allies. There are some hard questions that need to be raised about just what kind of ally Turkey is, exactly, and the future of Turkey’s place in NATO,” Karako added.

Despite dealing with potential U.S. sanctions, a dozen international locations have expressed interest in buying Russia’s S-400 missile system.

A Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

Sergei Malgavko | TASS by way of Getty Images