Latest news has Turkey shooting down a Russian jet. There is dispute over the circumstances.
Erdogan of Turkey claims the Russian plane crossed into their air space and was warned “repeatedly”.
Putin denies this and says the plane was operating over Syrian soil, and security experts question how many “repeated warnings” can occur within “12 seconds”. The radar seems to suggest, if the Russian plane did indeed violate Turkey’s space (and this is still a big if), it was over the size of a finger and lasted “seconds”.
Erdogan’s calculated response (in my opinion) to shoot down the plane was provocative, yet desperate at the same time. For why would Erdogan risk war with Russia when it is obvious that Turkey was not, nor have they ever been, the targets of Russia in their campaign against ISIS and the various other Islamic rebels in Syria?
One first has to know the deceptive double game Erdogan has been playing all along. While he claims to be at the table against ISIS, his actions speak volumes. Turkey, a NATO member with an army of over 400,000, has tolerated and turned a blind eye to the Islamic extremists pouring across its border into Syria. Along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, they have been quietly supporting and arming various Islamic rebels (there are no moderate rebels, they do not exist presently) in an effort to overthrow the government of Assad. While no angel, Assad protected the Christians from persecution at the hands of the Sunni rebels and prevented the Islamics (Al-Nusra, Al-Qaida, ISIS, Free Syrian Army, etc) from taking full control over Syria.
Putin and Shite Iran are the allies of Assad. Their belief is that Assad must remain in power in order to defeat ISIS and the various factions of Islamic rebels. This requires targeting all rebels, not just ISIS, since they feed off of each other. While Obama and the West enjoyed ineffective and symbolic strikes against empty training facilities (the rebels blend in with the the local populations), Putin was hitting real targets from the air and Hezbollah (Iran’s proxy) was providing the ground troops needed to take back territory from the Islamists. This is proving very effective, which , in turn, led to Erdogan’s desperate measures.
Bottom line: Erdogan and Saudi Arabia want Assad removed at all costs for economic reasons and to negate the influence of Iran and Russia in Syria, even if this entails an unholy alliance with the new axis of evil — ISIS, Al-Nusra, and Erdogan’s Islamic rebel allies. However, Putin’s strong and no-nonsense entrance into Syria was and is a game changer. Erdogan called the strike and he did so out of desperation in an attempt to draw NATO into the conflict.
This is precisely why one should not be fooled by Turkey’s desire for a “no fly zone” in Syria, for ISIS and Co. have no Air Force. Erdogan simply wants to take Putin and his Air Force out of the
game, thus making it almost impossible for Assad to hold back their Islamic rebels (and ISIS).
Putin and Iran may not be our friends, but in this fight against radical jihadists, they are indispensable and we should welcome their efforts, for they are the ones taking the fight to the Islamic fanatics whom threaten our way of life — indeed the world’s way of life.
If the “world” wants to be united against terrorism, they may want to find the source that “feeds and breeds” it….Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and the Turks. For their leaders believe their “Kingdoms are not of this world”.