Turkey is readying its comprehensive test of its S-400 missile-defense systems obtained from Russia last year which took Ankara's relationship with Washington to a new low and resulted in the US blocking and suspending deliveries of Lockheed Martin's advanced stealth F-35 fighter.
The test is expected to run starting Wednesday through Saturday at Sinop on the Black Sea, for which all flights have been banned in the area running east of the test field at an altitude less than 25,000 feet, according to Turkish aviation notices.
An irate Washington has recently reiterated threats to impose sanctions on Turkey if the Russian system is activated, something Ankara has indicated would happen by April 2020, when the system will go operational.
Throughout the whole S-400 and F-35 diplomatic saga and standoff of 2019 which took US-Turkey relations to an all-time low, compounded by Turkey's attacks on Syrian Kurds which were being supported by US troops in northern Syria, Ankara didn't blink. This even as Washington offered the Patriot system as an alternative to Russian air defenses.
Meanwhile since late last week the Turkish lira has continued weakening to new record lows on geopolitical worries.
Turkey Reportedly Used S-400 System Against US-Made F-16s, and Congress Wants Answers https://t.co/P2uzOCtmLR— Lena Argiri (@lenaargiri) October 8, 2020
Upon the issuing of Wednesday's 'missile notice' the lira weakened 0.5% to 7.9586 against the U.S. dollar, another fresh record low, before it retraced some losses in the hours following to hold at 7.90.
Regional pressures also included the renewed heightened tensions with Greece and the EU over Turkey's hydrocarbons exploration activity in the eastern Mediterranean, and Turkey's increasingly vocal support to Azerbaijan as it clashes with Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh.