Turkey will activate Russian S-400 missile system: defense minister

A Russian S-400 Triumph air defence missile system parade through Red Square during the general rehearsal of the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 6, 2018. Russia marks the 73rd anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two on May 9. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Thursday said there should be no doubt that Turkey will activate the S-400 missile system it purchased from Russia.

Akar was speaking in an interview with broadcaster CNN Türk, according to Reuters.

Turkey’s procurement of Russian missiles has strained its relations with the Western bloc, especially the United States.

Observers started questioning Ankara’s S-400 purchase after a conflict in Syria’s Idlib region between the Turkish and Russian governments began to escalate.

According to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday, Turkey has asked Washington for Patriot missile batteries to back its soldiers in northwestern Syria.

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