Turkey's testing of Russian S-400 missile defense systems continues to draw rebuke from the United States, with an official saying that "sanctions are very much on the table."
"That risk is very real because they… continue to pursue the S-400. And, of course, with the testing of it, sanctions is very much something that is on the table," R. Clarke Cooper, the top State Department official in charge of arms sales, said on Oct. 28.
Turkey confirmed testing the systems that's the source of a major rift between Ankara and Washington this month in the Black Sea province of Sinop.Erdoğan says Turkey tested Russian S-400s, shrugs off US objections
Turkey bought a batch of the missile systems from Russia last year, leading to its suspension by Washington from the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jet program. The United States has said Turkey risks U.S. sanctions if it deploys the Russian-made S-400s, but has not yet imposed them.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, however, remained defiant and said that U.S. objections to the testing "didn't matter."
Cooper said the U.S. had set a red line of Turkey not activating the S-400.
Even after the test, he hoped that Turkey would "walk back from operationalizing" the system.
"Put it away, decommission it, just do not integrate it and make it operable," he said, adding, "We certainly are working to make sure that Turkey remains in the West. This is something that's important not only to the United States, but to the overall alliance."