Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 25, 2015

Was The U.S. Involved In The Turkish Attack Against The Russian Jet?

Erdogan criticized Syria harshly on Tuesday for shooting down the Turkish fighter jet, saying: "Even if the plane was in their airspace for a few seconds, that is no excuse to attack."

"It was clear that this plane was not an aggressive plane. Still it was shot down," he said.Turkey hardens military position after Syria downs jet June 27, 2012

A violation of one to two kilometers is accepted as "natural" given the speed of aircraft, the statement [by the the General Staff] said. This year's violations of Turkish airspace lasted between 20 seconds and nine minutes, which showed "airspace violations can be resolved by warning and interceptions," the statement said.
Turkey could have downed 114 planes for airspace violations: Army June 25, 2012
Turkish fighter jets and military helicopters have dramatically increased their incursions into Greek airspace, according to a study based on data from the Greek military, forcing the cash-strapped Greek air force to respond.
Turkey buzzes weakened Greece - In growing numbers Ankara’s fighter jets test Greek territorial claims. - July 23, 2015

Turkey also regularly violates Iraq's airspace by flying bombing attacks against Kurds in north Iraq.

All this provides that yesterday's incident in which Turkey shot down a Russian jet was not a case of an ordinary airspace violation but a deliberate act to take down a Russian plane. The surviving co-pilot of the Russian jet insists that it neither flew through Turkish airspace nor was warned of an imminent attack. As I wrote yesterday:

This then was not legitimate air-defense but an ambush.

I am not the only one who came to that conclusion. Deep inside a McClatchy piece a "western" diplomat sees it as an "orchestrated" event:

One Western diplomat based in Iraq, but with extensive experience in Syria and Turkey, called the incident “brazenly orchestrated and inevitable,” but asked that the identification of his country not be used in the statement.

The Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov also came to that conclusion:

The downing of a Russian warplane in Syria by Turkey appears to be a pre-planned provocation, the Russian Foreign Minister said. Ankara failed to communicate with Russia over the incident, he added.

We have serious doubts that this act was unintentional. It looks very much like a preplanned provocation,” Lavrov said, citing Turkey’s failure to maintain proper communication with Russia, the abundance of footage of the incident and other evidence.

Several NATO ambassadors will have had the same though when they admonished Ankara over the act:

"There are other ways of dealing with these kinds of incidents," said one diplomat who declined to be named.

The attack on the Russian plane was preconceived on November 22 when a security summit was held with the Turkish government under Prime Minister Davutoğlu and the Turkish Armed Forces. Davutoğlu personally gave the order to shoot down Russian planes. This, Turkey says, was necessary to stop Russian bombing of "Turkmen" in north Syria's Latakia near the Turkish border.

Many of the "Syrian Turkmen" fighting against the Syrian people are from Central Asia and part of the terrorist groups of Jabhat al-Nusra, Ansar Al Sham, Jabhat Ansar Ad Din and Ahrar al Sham. Uighurs smuggled in from China and fighting under the "Turkistan Islamist Party" label even advertise their ‘little jihadists’ children training camps in the area. The few real Syrian Turkmen work, as even the BBC admits, together with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Their leader and spokesman, one Alparslan Celik, is a Turkish citizen from Elazığ.

The Turkish claim of defending "Turkmen" in Syria is a sham. It is defending mostly foreign Islamist terrorists.

Whoever planned the ambush on the Russian jet miscalculated the reaction. NATO will not come to Turkey's help over this or the next such incident. NATO countries know that the Russian plane was hit within Syria. Russia will not be scared into drawing back. Instead it massively increased the bombing of targets in that area:

At least 12 air strikes hit Latakia's northern countryside as pro-government forces clashed with fighters from al Qaeda's Nusra Front and Turkmen insurgents in the Jabal Akrad and Jabal Turkman areas, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A Turkmen commander said missiles fired from Russian warships in the Mediterranean were also hitting the area, as well as heavy artillery shelling.

Russian jets also bombed insurgency supply trucks (video) in al-Qaeda controlled Azaz, north of Aleppo and just some two kilometers from the Turkish border. They also bombed the Bab al-Hawa border crossing to Turkey. That is a big FU to Erdogan.

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva with its extensive air defense systems is now covering the area. Russia will officially deploy two S-400 air defense systems to cover all of north-west Syria and southern Turkey. Russia also has lots of electronic wizardry it can (and will) apply. The preparation of additional airfields is ongoing. There will be no outward military revenge against Turkey unless it crosses into Syria. The "safe zone" within Syria Erdogan dreams of would have to be won by defeating Russian forces.

The 4.5 million Russian tourists who visited Turkey this year will not come again. Turkish business in Russia, mostly in the building industry and agricultural products, will shrink to nearly zero. That the scheming to take down a Russian air plane may have negative consequences for Turkey suddenly also dawned to Davutoğlu who now pretends that we wants to make nice again:

Turkey is not aiming to escalate tension with Russia, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Nov. 25, echoing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following the downing of a SU-24 Russian jet the previous day.

“Russia is our friend and neighbor. Our bilateral communication channels are open. But our security, as for every friendly country, should be based on the principle of respect under international law. It’s normal to protect our national airspace,” Davutoğlu said, addressing party members in parliament.

And it is normal for Russia to defend its ally Syria. Against all enemies. By all means.

But back to Turkey's motive. The way this is played one might believe that this was a indeed a lonely Turkish idea to defend its immediate interests in Syria - the "Turkmen" as well as the oil business Erdogan's son has with the Islamic State.

But there is also a bigger game going on and it is likely that Erdogan has a new contract and Obama's backing for this escalation. James Winnefeld, the deputy chief of General Staff of the U.S. military, was in Ankara when the incident happened. The cooperation between U.S. and Turkish military and especially the air forces is quite tight. It is hard to believe that there was no communication about what was prepared to happen.

After the Islamic State attack in France President Hollande attempted to create a global coalition against IS which would include Russia and Iran as well as the U.S. led anti-ISIS block. But such a coalition, which makes a lot of sense, would have to agree to leave Syria alone and to help Syrian ground forces to effectively fight the Islamic State. It does not make sense to destroy the Syrian state and to just hope that the outcome would be something better than an emboldened IS or AlQaeda ruling in Damascus. That outcome is certainly not in Europe's interest. But a global coalition is not in U.S. or Turkish interests. It would end their common plans and efforts to overthrow the Syrian government and to install a "Sunni" state in Syria and Iraq as a Turkish protectorate.

The Russian jet incident decreased the likelihood of such a coalition. Holland, visiting Washington yesterday, had to pull back with his plan and was again degraded to parrot Obama's "Assad must go" nonsense. Obama feels emboldened and now pushes to widen the conflict in Syria:

The Obama administration is using the current moment of extreme anger and anxiety in Europe to press allies for sharp increases in their contributions to the fight against the Islamic State. Suggestions include more strike aircraft, more intelligence-sharing, more training and equipment for local fighters, and deployment of their own special operations ­forces.
...
While new contributions would be added to anti-Islamic State campaigns across the board, the attention is clearly on Syria, marking a shift in what began as an “Iraq first” focus when Obama authorized airstrikes in the region last fall.
...
Obama, speaking beside Hollande on Tuesday, restated his insistence that Assad is part of the problem, not the solution, and that he must go.

The Obama administration is also preparing to install the Turkish dream of a "safe zone" between Aleppo and the Turkish border north of it.

Among several coalition priorities in Syria, the United States has begun a series of airstrikes in an area known as the “Mar’a line,” named for a town north of Aleppo in the northwest. There, a 60-mile stretch to the Euphrates River in the east is the only remaining part of the Syria-Turkey border under Islamic State control.

The administration had delayed beginning operations in the area because U.S. aircraft were needed in operations farther east, and it has been uncertain that local opposition forces­ would be able to hold the territory if it could be cleared with airstrikes.

The increased Russian air defense and the likely increase of its deployed planes will make those "safe zone" plans impossible.

But Obama, in my conclusion, still wants to drag NATO into Syria and wants to assemble enough forces "against ISIS" to be able to overwhelm the Syrian government and its Russian protectors. If that does not work he at least hopes to give Russia the Afghanistan like "quagmire" in Syria he and other U.S. officials promised. The again increasing tensions with U.S. proxy Ukraine only help in that regard.

But there is even more to that plan. Just by chance (not) the NYT op-ed pages launch a trial balloon today for the creation of a Sunni state in east Syria and west Iraq. But that (Islamic) State is already there and the "containment" strategy Obama practices towards it guarantees that it will fester.

Obama continues his immensely destructive policies in the Middle East with zero regard to the all the bad outcomes these are likely to have for the people there as well as for Europe. One again wonders if all these action follow from sheer incompetence or from some devilish, ingenious strategic planning.

Posted by b on November 25, 2015 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

Comments
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Thanks for the posting b

I believe it is of the devilish, ingenious strategic planning sort.

I believe this "war" will decide on the continuation of private finance or not and hence conscious attempts to maintain centuries of control.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25, 2015 10:39:54 AM | 1

Concerning Turkey, it is known that the US promote the creation of a Kurdish state because it serves better their interests. This is totally unacceptable for Erdoğan,who is occupied by the illusion of the Turkish expansionism. Washington is not very happy seeing ISIS being used by Turkey to fight Kurds, instead of operating in full force against Assad regime.

Posted by: nmb | Nov 25, 2015 10:45:36 AM | 2

An interesting aspect of the Turkish attack:
The Russians have a technology that they recently demonstrated against the newest US missile cruiser and Israel’s US jet fighters. The technology shuts down the communication systems of hostile forces, leaving them blind. He wonders if the Russian aircraft was shot down in order to encourage the Russians to use its unknown technology whenever Russian aircraft are in the vicinity of NATO and Israeli aircraft. He bets that the US has sent every Raven and ELINT specialist to the area in hopes that Russia’s use of the technology will allow them to learn enough about the system to duplicate it or learn how to block it.
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/11/24/turkey-has-destroyed-russias-delusion-of-western-cooperation-paul-craig-roberts/

Posted by: Kassandra | Nov 25, 2015 10:52:56 AM | 3

Seems to me that whether the Obama-Bolton dream--a Sunni state in eastern Syria that serves as a "safe zone" for the empire's strike force of Salafist mercenaries--is realized depends on the Kurds. And whether Erdogan and the Kurds can work together to feed such a monster.

Posted by: Laker | Nov 25, 2015 10:59:47 AM | 4

Well done, b. Context is everything in a legal dispute. Important and very relevant observations, too. US-NATO and the Euro-Colonial has-beens (most of the EU) must have thought all their Christmases had come at once when Erdogan answered their call for a Useful Idiot. A Coalition of the Eerily Inept?

Xymph has reproduced a bunch of Sour Grapes from a Right-wing Crank source whining about how weak, confused and aimless Russia has become under the cult of Putin!!!???
They wish...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 25, 2015 11:09:30 AM | 5

Afghanistan was not a quagmire for the Russians. In 9.5 years, they lost about 15,000 dead. That was what the number of dead the Soviet Union lost in a couple of average days while fighting the Germans on the Eastern Front. It was a drain on resources but the Soviet Union agreed to a negotiated settlement (which the Saudis and Americans promptly ignored) because of the problems with the Soviet economy. It suited the idiots in Washington to claim that it was the war in Afghanistan that brought down the Soviet Union because it made it look like an American victory rather than a Soviet failure. The side effect of this was to persuade the jihadis that they had defeated the Soviet Union so they could go on to defeat the United States with disastrous consequences for all. As usual, the Americans continue to believe their own propaganda and are probably too stupid the realize that they and the Turkish regime probably just destroyed their last chance to have any real input into the political solution in Syria which will come about at a time that suits Russia and will almost certainly ignore any demands that Assad step down before the transition.

Posted by: blowback | Nov 25, 2015 11:18:25 AM | 6

Well the Russians have started to respond
Moscow to deploy S-400 defense missile system to Khmeimim airbase in Syria
Next up, more BM-30 Smerchs, and Buratinos.

Posted by: blowback | Nov 25, 2015 11:23:32 AM | 7

I thought this was interesting because it reflects a certain attitude...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/12013896/The-Russians-had-it-coming-to-them.html

I'm not sure this kind of jingoism plays as well as it used to but Coughlin gets paid to churn it out.

Posted by: dh | Nov 25, 2015 11:50:03 AM | 8

Excellent update b.
The best news from it all to hear after the events of yesterday is that Russia went back and bombed the area. They are there to do a job and despite the backstabbing are doing it.

I would also like to suggest that yesterday's events were so shocking that the public in various european countries may be less eager for there governments to be involved. There's a lot of confusion about why Turkey did it.
I agree Paris has faded. It was alot of hype in the media. It's run its course.
What Turkey has done has complicated matters on the ground and made it seem as if what Obama wants is an anti Russian coalition. No one wants to be bombing the Russians /Iran/Syrian army etc.

Posted by: James lake | Nov 25, 2015 11:56:52 AM | 9

Will china ever back up russia here with more than words?

Posted by: Alaric | Nov 25, 2015 12:02:54 PM | 10

@10 Only if some Uighurs pull off in Beijing something like what happened in Paris.

Posted by: dh | Nov 25, 2015 12:06:58 PM | 11

A@10

The Chinese elite are not fools nor desperate like Putin and will avoid foreign entanglements. They know that when the dust finally settles whatever the outcome they can buy any access they require.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 25, 2015 12:12:55 PM | 12

Thanks b for the info-rich summary, the links and the context.

Besides losing Russia's tourist market, Turkey just lost Russia's food imports.

Iran will replace Turkey on food import to Russia - Korotchenko on Russian State TV

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25, 2015 12:13:37 PM | 13

Very good article. One minor quibble. While it's true that it is common practice to use the name of the head of state to denote a state's actions, the US is simply not governed by whoever is elected by its people. Since the coup in 1963 no president has really had control of the US's foreign policy. US presidents, after JFK's assassination, have essentially been the song-and-dance men for the military-industrial complex. Obama couldn't turn this ship around if he tried. Of course, he won't try.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Nov 25, 2015 12:14:31 PM | 14

Posted by: Alaric | Nov 25, 2015 12:02:54 PM | 10

Yes. 100% certainty. China is next in line on the Crusading Christian's hit list, after Russia.
When (and if) Russia calls, China will be wherever they're needed, with guns blazing, within hours.
Read Putin and Xi's recent UN speeches.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 25, 2015 12:16:51 PM | 15

Paul Craig Roberts said.. "Each step along the way the Russian government has held strong cards that it did not play, trusting instead to diplomacy. Diplomacy has now proven to be a deadend. If Russia does not join the real game and begin to play its strong cards, Russia will be defeated". Yes Russia does hold most of the cards, it was obvious that Turkey was facilitating Islamic state and that Saudi Arabia and Qatar provided the financial angle.
Putin acknowledged this when he accused some members of the G20 of supporting terrorism and that the US knowing all these things,yet the US still train and supply arms to the so called "moderate" terrorists [as rare as unicorns] who promptly sell them to other not so moderate terrorists yet refuse to do anything to stop them.
How the West [with a straight face]as Penelope pointed out @115 yesterday, can ask other countries to confront Islamic State when its ally and fellow NATO member's Head of National Intelligence [MIT] Hakan Fidan and one of Erdogans staunchest allies, wants Islamic state to open a consulate in Turkey, he said.. “ISIS is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organized and popular establishment such as the Islamic State; therefore I urge my western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents, put aside their cynical mentalité and thwart Vladimir Putin's plans to crush Syrian Islamist revolutionaries,” Anadolu News Agency quoted Mr. Fidan as saying on Sunday.

Fidan further added that in order to deal with the vast number of foreign Jihadists craving to travel to Syria, it is imperative that ISIS must set up a consulate or at least a political office in Istanbul. He underlined that it is Turkey’s firm belief to provide medical care for all injured people fleeing Russian ruthless airstrikes regardless of their political or religious affiliation.http://www.awdnews.com/top-news/turkish-intelligence-chief-putin-s-intervention-in-syria-is-against-islam-and-international-law,-isis-is-a-reality-and-we-are-optimistic-about-the-future You just could not make this stuff up. Unbelievable.

Posted by: harry law | Nov 25, 2015 12:21:23 PM | 16

@14 Bob

I disagree with your assertion that the US MIC steers the ship.

I posit that the global plutocrats that own private finance, all those MIC companies and a majority of our politicians steer the ship.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25, 2015 12:25:04 PM | 17

Posted by: dh | Nov 25, 2015 11:50:03 AM | 8

Interesting. It certainly sounds as if Britain was on board with Turkey.

I am still not sure about the plan. Did they really think Russia would cease and desist? And why undercutting Turkey with all this Reuters mumbling about the few seconds in Turkey's airspace, and the shot in Syrian airspace?

The only use of this would be destroying the chances of an agreement on Syria - or generally an agreement with Russia.

Erdogan's problem is clear - Russia is going after his family's business ties. Are British business ties involved, too?

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25, 2015 12:25:08 PM | 18

1. The U.S. is saying they warned about the incursion to the Russians.

2. U.S. hung Turkey out to dry by leaking that the jet was hit inside Syrian airspace.

3. Obama talked about closing the borders, not a safe zone, which will not happen.

4. The Russians bombed that area with impunity last night while the Turkish Air Force remained grounded. Pound of flesh extracted. Now this is how it will likely go-in a few days, after investigations and a cool-down period, Erdogan himself will contact Putin and express his condolences and apologize for the miscalculation. Putin will accept this so he can move on to his political goals in Syria. Turkey, however is alone and isolated, and for all intents and purposes, no longer backed by NATO.

Posted by: MrBenny | Nov 25, 2015 12:33:58 PM | 19

@18 Seems to me Erdogan is using the Syrian Turkmen for a land grab. But he stops short of putting the Turkish army into Syria without NATO backing.

Not sure why Cameron is so keen to get Britain more involved. Pressure from the Friends of Israel most likely.

Posted by: dh | Nov 25, 2015 12:36:55 PM | 20

@Wayoutwest@12

The Chinese elite are not fools nor desperate like Putin and will avoid foreign entanglements. They know that when the dust finally settles whatever the outcome they can buy any access they require.

"Strategic analyst" WoW giving his dictum while foaming at the mouth at the Russians for ending his "Assad must go" mantra. You're barking at the wrong tree, as usual.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 25, 2015 12:37:20 PM | 21

White House press release about Obama's phone call to Erdogan:

The President spoke today by phone with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to discuss Turkey’s downing of a Russian aircraft. The President expressed U.S. and NATO support for Turkey’s right to defend its sovereignty. The leaders agreed on the importance of deescalating the situation and pursuing arrangements to ensure that such incidents do not happen again. They reiterated their shared commitment to efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.

I read those last sentences as being about Obama scolding Erdogan.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 25, 2015 12:37:59 PM | 22

Too little Too Late?

Moscow to deploy S-400 defense missile system to Khmeimim airbase in Syria

The Russian Air Force base in Latakia will be reinforced with S-400 SAM system, which will soon be deployed there, Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.

"S-400 will be deployed on Khmeimim airbase in Syria," Shoigu said at a Defense Ministry meeting.

Of course if the Russians had had the integrity to fulfil the contracts they signed, to deliver the s-300 systems to both Syria and Iran, then the recent history of both those countries might have been a whole lot different.

In truth Russia has no one else but itself to blame for the Syrian quagmire it now finds itself in.

In the future it might be best for the Russians to actually fulfil the contracts they signed. Otherwise why sign them in the first place? Was it just to get some money into the current account?

Posted by: MorningStar | Nov 25, 2015 12:38:57 PM | 23

thanks b.. excellent coverage with links on your part. i thought this zaman commentary from your post was especially insightful.. and, i think you're right in your conclusion here "But Obama, in my conclusion, still wants to drag NATO into Syria and wants to assemble enough forces "against ISIS" to be able to overwhelm the Syrian government and its Russian protectors. and etc." thanks for your commentary.

Posted by: james | Nov 25, 2015 12:40:29 PM | 24

yet another new name @23 saying the same stupid shit.. great..

Posted by: james | Nov 25, 2015 12:41:55 PM | 25

b - Russia also has lots of electronic wizardry it can (and will) apply

Funny you should say that because according to what I read at this site over the last few weeks the Russians were supposedly already deploying their electronic Wizardry to create a No-Fly Zone over Syria.

Guess that hasn't worked out as well at they, or their fanbois, had hoped. Maybe all the electronic Wizardry everyone was salivating over ain't quite the all-inclusive panacea people here were touting it as?

Posted by: MorningStar | Nov 25, 2015 12:50:59 PM | 26

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25, 2015 12:25:08 PM | 18

Bingo!

A British energy company with strong backing from the UK political establishment operates the oil field supplying the Nokan-owned Bazian refinery.

The refinery, owned by the Nokan Group whose trucks were seen transporting IS oil through the Kurdish province earlier this year, is supplied from the KRG’s Taq Taq field. The oil field produces a total of around 100,000 barrels per day, most of which is shipped to local refineries. British-Turkish firm Genel Energy has a 45 percent stake in the Taq Taq field.

Genel Energy was formed from a $2.1 billion merger in 2011 between a UK firm, Vallares Plc, and a Turkish company, Genel Enerji. The firm is run by Tony Hayward, a former CEO of British Petroleum (BP).

Asked about Genel’s position on working with institutions allegedly involved in financing ISIS terrorism, Andrew Benbow, spokesperson for the Anglo-Turkish company, stated: “These are all questions to be asked to the KRG rather than ourselves.”

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25, 2015 12:54:48 PM | 27

@27 somebody.. thanks for that.. and why do the questions have to be asked KRG instead of him?

Posted by: james | Nov 25, 2015 12:57:37 PM | 28

Posted by: james | Nov 25, 2015 12:57:37 PM | 28

As I understand KRG - Barzani - is "washing" ISIS oil - Genel gets the stuff from and is paid by KRG

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25, 2015 12:59:01 PM | 29

/The President expressed U.S. and NATO support for Turkey’s right to defend its sovereignty/. SO….
Obama just gave Syria thumbs up to shoot down the next US/NATO warplane that violates syrian territory & airspace.
Obama/Erdogan committed a huge mistake.

Posted by: ALAN | Nov 25, 2015 1:00:28 PM | 30

If russia uses its wizardry usa and coalition cant drop its democracy and love to their child isis.russia and usa have an agreement to prevent accident like this so need for wizardry.

Posted by: Sos | Nov 25, 2015 1:01:24 PM | 31

3;Pcr is usually 99% accurate,(or so)a voice of reality in an unreal world.
17;And those plutocrats are mostly whom?The same ones Putin chased out of Russia?Da.
19;Well,logic says yes to Obombas attitude towards this Turkish act,but reality will say no.

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 25, 2015 1:04:18 PM | 32

@27 Ah that would be ex-BP chief Tony Hayward of Deepwater Horizon fame. Nice to see he found a job.

Posted by: dh | Nov 25, 2015 1:06:18 PM | 33

@33 dh - good observation! http://bezhanpet.net/

Posted by: james | Nov 25, 2015 1:09:15 PM | 34

If russia uses its wizardry usa and coalition cant drop its democracy and love to their child isis.

Posted by: Sos | Nov 25, 2015 1:01:24 PM |

Russia has been in Syria for over almost 2 months now - in that time the US etc has made several ammo and Equipment drops to ISIS. The Russians have had their wizardry on-hand in syria for quite a while yet for some reason they don't seem to be using it.

Perhaps all this alleged Electronic wizardry is not all it's cracked-up to be.

Posted by: MorningStar | Nov 25, 2015 1:11:48 PM | 35

Believe it or not: In their letter to the UN Turkey is claiming that they did not know they were shooting down a Russian plane.

"2 SU-24 planes, the nationality of which are unknown have approached Turkish national airspace"
Letter of Turkey to the UN

Liars, liars pants on fire.

Posted by: MUC | Nov 25, 2015 1:20:25 PM | 36

Great analysis as usual but I'm not sure the US is behind this. Erdogan pulled the chem weapons stunt on his own (with the Saudis or Qataris but not the US It SEEMs). Erdummie has repeatedly tried to get the US and NATO to topple Assad directly with numerous stunts and rhetoric. This could be another attempt at that. Erdogan ran to NATO immediately to defend himself and claim victim status I presume. That is a pretty clear attempt to involve NATO

Putin has to Isolate Turkey from the European member of NATO in particular. He must keep his eye on the ball (liberating syria) but there will be more mischief if he fails to provide a meaningful response to the US, Qatar, saudi, and Turkish malfeasance.

China is next and ISIS and alqaida will (are) used by the same cast of sociopaths against them. China needs to be A LOT more supportive because they stand a better chance of defeating the US with Iran and Russia as intact allies than as Balkanized failed states

Posted by: Alaric | Nov 25, 2015 1:27:17 PM | 37


b: Whoever planned the ambush on the Russian jet miscalculated the reaction. NATO will not come to Turkey's help over this or the next such incident.

Yes, such a minor incident can on occasion be upped to a casus belli, or justify more strong-man actions, but right now, not. EU/NATO needs Turkey to be part of NATO (geography, control of territory, outside reach..) and they won’t misuse it or give it up for some trivia. Also, they all judge Erdogan is a complete nutter (imho), so that doesn’t help.

b: After the Islamic State attack in France President Hollande attempted to create a global coalition against IS which would include Russia and Iran as well as the U.S. led anti-ISIS block.

Hollande was pushed into that by ALL: Républicains (Sarkozy..), the FN (le Pen), the Left Front (Mélenchon), other pol minority parties, every one of them against the Socialist Gov. Biz interests who have been contesting and undermining contra-Russia sanctions, and screaming about economics, debt, GDP .. from the left, loss of industry, etc… Civil society, heh what a delicate term for the ‘dumb plebs’, is blowing up the intertubes, plus the phones to their reps after the Paris attacks, pushes for any anti-IS move, and cannot grasp why it is compliqué.

Security services and the Army - now I may be going out on a limb here plus stupidly lumping them together - are, as far as I can gather, unhappy, not to say, extremely angry. Wrong enemy: not the ppl, but Daesh; not enough money, capacities, equipment; security surveillance is crap; whaat are the pols doing? Why soldiers trained at cost half a million euros standing in front of a Kosher shop or a museum? and on and on. Note the F army is overextended, I have read ?, in horrible shape - Mali for ex. Colonialism doesn’t just stop.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 25, 2015 1:30:28 PM | 38

There is another angle here. Russia now looks like the victim and erdogan appears like the aggressor. Russia's lack of a response makes that possible and that facilitates the isolation of turkey from NATO. The Europeans will not go to war with russia to preserve Erdogans "right" to defend jihadists and screw with russia

Posted by: Alaric | Nov 25, 2015 1:33:20 PM | 39

somebody @ 27

interesting article. i liked this part...

Their extraordinary study, published by Maritime Security Review in March, examined the international route used by ISIS, based on “a string of trading hubs” comprising the localities of Sanliura, Urfa, Hakkari, Siirt, Batman, Osmaniya, Gaziantep, Sirnak, Adana, Kahramarmaras, Adiyaman and Mardin. “The string of trading hubs ends up in Adana [in southeast Turkey], home to the major tanker shipping port of Ceyhan.”

and what's between Adana and Ceyhan? yep, you guessed it, Incirlik Air Base. that Incirlik sticks to the tip of my tongue.

Posted by: john | Nov 25, 2015 1:34:35 PM | 40

Thanks for the post. Just a small correction, Ansar Al Shams and Ahrar al Shams should both be al Sham (Levant). Shams is the word for 'sun'.

Posted by: John | Nov 25, 2015 1:46:22 PM | 41

Posted by: dh | Nov 25, 2015 1:06:18 PM | 33

Plus Nat Rothschild of the Rothschild Family - he features in this British elite story with David Cameron.

But you can't accurse Genel of funding ISIS as "they do not buy oil but produce oil". You have to ask KRG about it.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25, 2015 1:49:03 PM | 42

Re: Hayward. Kurdistan getting very independent. Kurdistan Regional Government.


The oil company headed by Tony Hayward, the former BP boss, is in talks about a merger with an Africa-focused exploration group.

Sky News has learnt that Genel Energy, which Mr Hayward has chaired since stepping aside from the chief executive's post this year, is in the early stages of discussions about a tie-up with New African Global Energy (New Age).
snip

Genel's oil production is currently focused on Kurdistan, but it has a string of exploration assets in Somaliland, Morocco, the Ivory Coast and elsewhere in Africa.

One banker described the company as a "good fit" with New Age, which has a similar geographic profile, operating across Africa and in Kurdistan.


http://news.sky.com/story/1593628/hayward-oil-firm-in-2bn-new-age-merger-talks

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 25, 2015 1:50:04 PM | 43

What if Turkey decides to start flying over syrian territory? That could be another provocation to force Russia to shot it down and bring NATO to it's defence.

Posted by: danx | Nov 25, 2015 1:51:40 PM | 44

More re: Hayward.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4edd24be-38d7-11e4-9526-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3sX01nLdB


For a while, Mr Hayward’s prospects looked bleak. But he has staged a remarkable comeback. In 2011 he teamed up with financier Nat Rothschild to take over Genel, the largest oil producer in Kurdistan. And last year, he was made chairman of Glencore, the global commodities group.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 25, 2015 1:59:53 PM | 45

I'd say it's devious stupidity. Obama: "And if Russia is directing its energies towards Daesh and ISIL, some of those conflicts, ...".

Turkish terrorists kill 1 Russian pilot and destroy a Russian rescue helicopter using a TOW launcher supplied by the USA and the terrorists cheerfully shout alah akbar. The US war on terror is a sham. It is and always has been the US war of terror.

Mexicans under attack in the US doesn't give Mexico the right to invade or attack the US so even if the Turkish claim of defending "Turkmen" in Syria wouldn't be a sham, it still wouldn't give them the right to breach Syrian sovereignty.

Posted by: zippo | Nov 25, 2015 1:59:57 PM | 46

Posted by: Alaric | Nov 25, 2015 1:27:17 PM | 37

It's quite possible that Russia is confident that it can thwart anything the Christian Coalition (of Evil) throws at it in Syria. And it's likely that Iraq will ask Russia to play an anti-ISIS role in Iraq too. IF that happens it will result in a terminal embarrassment/humiliation for the AmeriKKKans.

China is currently running a huge international charm offensive and creating new, and strengthening old, economic alliances - in perfect alignment with the vision of an ideal future world, as outlined by Xi & Vlad in their UN speeches.

The Chinese aren't stupid. They realise that they can get anything which they (and the Christian West) want from Russia merely by behaving like Extra Good Friends to Russia and, thereby, reap the fruits of Gratitude rather than picking over the bones of a corpse - a lesson the Christians have always been too cretinous and self-obsessed to contemplate, let alone learn.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 25, 2015 2:01:11 PM | 47

25;Yes,MorningStar;Venus or Marjorie?

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 25, 2015 2:02:54 PM | 48

"airspace violations can be resolved by warning and interceptions,"

LOL. There were almost daily violations. For one and a half month. And at least dozen of warnings. And at least very explicit warning about downing any Russian planes that continue the violations. How long of "warnings" is enough for you?

Posted by: Cortez | Nov 25, 2015 2:15:01 PM | 49

Could I add, that the shooting down of the Russian military plane, was also a planned act of desperation by mostly Turkey, and the US.

With so many recent successes by the Russia Air Force , Syrian army and friends against the US/turkeys etc proxy terrorists, And Soon approaching all the way up to the Turkish border in the North East of Syria,
The Turks were desperate to motivate their western state terrorist partners into quicker action. But, desperation does not make for good strategy. And what that attack against the Russian plane did more so, was to motivate the Russians quicker than the west. Erdogan knows he can't invade and occupy parts of Syria by itself, especially with the Russians there, and that's why this was also a motivational attack for Western state hegemonic terrorists.

With Erdogan, we see more and more despicable, criminal, immoral, nut job behaviour, that resembles the Isreali state zionist hegemonic terrorists. Great, that's all the Middle East needs. And Syria is, sort of geographically, stuck between those evil freaks.

Posted by: tom | Nov 25, 2015 2:17:31 PM | 50

Crap, that's North West Syria.

Posted by: tom | Nov 25, 2015 2:18:39 PM | 51

Thank you for an article cutting through the fog.

It does not make sense to destroy the Syrian state and to just hope that the outcome would be something better than an emboldened IS or Al Qaeda ruling in Damascus.
Russia has the legal authority from Syria and now an explicit request from the UNSC to deal with all al qaeda affiliated groups:
UN Backs Russia's War on US-Backed Syria Terrorists
From an earlier UNSC resolution: 'Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter,'
UNSC resolution 2042(2012)
Russia now has legal carte blanche to deal with the situation in Syria as it sees fit.
As an aside, why is it the 'Assad regime' rather than 'Syria'. I get the impression that
Russia is more interested in dealing with the State of Syria rather than an individual - 2 meetings with President Assad in 15 years?

Posted by: randomrob23 | Nov 25, 2015 2:22:14 PM | 52

What would happen if Erdogan actually sent ground forces to protect the Turkmen in Syria? Would Russian and Syrian/Iranian forces attack them? Would NATO stay behind them?

Posted by: s | Nov 25, 2015 2:28:33 PM | 53

"It's quite possible that Russia is confident that it can thwart anything the Christian Coalition (of Evil) throws at it in Syria. And it's likely that Iraq will ask Russia to play an anti-ISIS role in Iraq too. IF that happens it will result in a terminal embarrassment/humiliation for the AmeriKKKans."

I believe this is the case but I worry the jihadist supporters will continue to escalate.

Russia and iran need to finish liberating syria quickly, th longer the operation lasts, the greater opportunity for US, Turkish, saudi terrorism against Russia and the greater likelihood the west will try to occupy syria with ground troops.

Posted by: Alaric | Nov 25, 2015 2:30:15 PM | 54

@ 48 Planet foff.

Posted by: dh | Nov 25, 2015 2:30:21 PM | 55

b: devilish, ingenious strategic planning

^^^^This! Anyone who thinks that the 'ambush' was:

a) a mistake/miscalculation;

b) an innocent action to protect territory; or

c) done just to support a few Turkmen near a small part of the boarder (by prompting NATO intervention to create a 'safe zone');

is drinking Kool-Aid.

Whatever he may be, Erdogan is not stupid. He is not going to poke the Bear without careful consideration. IMO this 'ambush' was strategic, not tactical. And not likely to have been done without the 'go-ahead' of others in the 'Assad must go!' Coalition.

IMO the ambush was designed to shape the political environment. The chief take-away for Russia was meant to be: seize the opportunity for a political solution NOW because you face a potential 'quagmire' in Syria. (NB In addition to Turkey's bad behavior, KSA has supplied TOWs, and there is talk of MANPAD deliveries as well). The anti-Assad Coalition wants Russia to agree to a CEASEFIRE and a timetable for ELECTIONS.

Knowing what we know about the anti-Assad Coalition's support for extremists and the enormous resources and efforts that the Coalition have devoted, it is difficult NOT to speculate that devilish, ingenious strategic planning are link all of these events:

>> Refugee migration to Europe;

>> the Nov13 Paris attacks;

>> the 'ambush' of the Russian fighter jet.


IMO, as a whole, these events have furthered the anti-Assad agenda. Together, these events have moved us toward a anti-Assad Coalition-led intervention to return refugees (plus maybe other Islamic immigrants that can be incentivized to leave Europe). In addition to securing 'Sunni' territory from the 4+1 Coalition, the West would be able to control who is admitted to Syria and influence how they vote.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2015 2:54:35 PM | 56

Turkey is now being labeled as a state-sponsor of terr0r!sm. The West is both supporting Turkey as a NATO member and trying to distance itself from Turkish actions. This is absurd. Turkey is part of a number of nations that have are guilty or complicit of using extremism as a tool.

All of these countries are committed to WINNING. The die has been cast (so to speak). And we should expect that they shall continue to work together until one or more break with the others and publicly reveal what has really been going on.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2015 2:55:42 PM | 57

Excellent summary and analysis of events. However, this statement: The increased Russian air defense and the likely increase of its deployed planes will make those "safe zone" plans impossible leaves a lot unsaid. That does not mean the US wouldn't try to support Turkey in its ambitions to create a safe zone in Northern Syria. Such an act might be inadvisable and extremely reckless but a priori is not impossible. It would likely create a situation where war between Russia and the US happens. Would Russia actually fire on US warplanes that entered into any declared safe zones? As much as I support what Russia is doing in Syria I would hope would refrain from doing so. Russia really does have the ability to project its military that far from its borders in a show down with the US and NATO. Prudence would suggest that they conduct any such confrontation with the West in Ukraine (and Poland and Latvia?) where they have a better chance of winning. In either location the danger of nuclear war remains.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 25, 2015 3:03:20 PM | 58

Bolton's plan

Will the anti-Assad Coalition be satisfied with a partitioning of Iraq and Syria? Would partitioning end attacks on Syria from extremists? I am very skeptical. It's hard to trust a group of countries that have chosen to use extremists as a weapon.

The mindset of the group that is driving the anti-Assad agenda is not likely to be one of compromise (as suggested by a naive reading of Bolton's plan) - except as a milestone toward the larger goal. And I imagine that neocons are salivating over the potential opportunity to deal Putin a major set-back.

Any political solution is tricky because care must be taken to ensure a peaceful Syria in the years that follow. How can nations prevent vicious attacks on Alawites and other minorities from the extremists whose state-sponsors would like to:

1) embarrass Putin;

2) show other nations what happens to those who oppose the Western NWO;

3) eliminate all support for Iran in Syria and Lebanon (culminating in defeat of Hezbollah)

Its hard to imagine a sincere and lasting solution that didn't include:
>> a UN strengthened by governance reforms;

>> rooting out of the 'bad apples' that championed extremism-as-a-tool

This necessarily means mea-culpas from the states that sponsored the extremists as well as their commitment to accountability (trials).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2015 3:05:25 PM | 59

I have read a number of commenters speaking to China's role is this whole imbroglio and I want to share my opinion.

I see China as the nuke backstop to Russia's efforts.

I expect that at some point the Chinese leadership said to the US leadership, If we see anything coming our direction, even if it is meant for Russia, we are not going to wait to see where they land. Don't go there!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25, 2015 3:05:36 PM | 60

should read " Russia really does not have the ability to project its military that far from its borders

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 25, 2015 3:06:10 PM | 61

Accusations and proof if and when presented that Turkey profits from selling stolen Oil and selling harvested organs from Syrians they kill will not go well in Syria. The chalice is now poisoned between Turks and Syrians. These are the claims that fuel hatred for generations.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 25, 2015 3:09:19 PM | 62

My vote goes to devilish, ingenious strategic planning.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Nov 25, 2015 3:36:48 PM | 63

The navigator of the Russian Su-24 shot down by a Turkish fighter jet on Tuesday insists that his plane did not cross into Turkey’s airspace, and says he was given no visual or radio warning before being fired at.http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=241228&cid=23&fromval=1&frid=23&seccatid=45&s1=1

Posted by: harry law | Nov 25, 2015 3:46:21 PM | 64

Little's been written about the legal ramifications of Turkey's illegal trading with Daesh. Pepe Escobar's latest links to several of the increasing number of publicly available studies damning that behavior, http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20151125/1030730838/turkey-erdogan-war-russia.html Part of the UNSC Resolution deals with the legal side of supporting the terrorists, and it will be interesting to watch the US and UK squirm at the coming Russian and Chinese backed sanctions on Turkey--and others, surely--for supporting Daesh. What would be the political cost for vetoing such a resolution? Note that Power was absent from the last vote.

That Russia lost no time in returning to the scene of the crime daring the Turks to try again speaks volumes. The surviving pilot was an award-winning navigator and unlikely to have misjudged his plane's territorial position, and he's ready to go again as soon as he's cleared for action. Turkish media had cameras on scene proving it was a planned ambush. The Russian government doesn't have to formally embargo Turkish goods; it's lower ranked customs and border officials are already doing it on their own.

Desperation is what I see. Planning, yes, but not strategic. Did Obama say yes? Certainly as the attack happened. Russia's response we've already seen: Big surge in the offensive into that border region, and the outright accusation of Turkey's support of terrorists that will lead to legal action. The Outlaw US Empire has no more cards to play, aside from committing what remains of its Army to fight for Daesh and against Syria--likely a domestic political impossibility that will doom Clinton's candidacy.

The situation's fluid, but Russia and the other Good Guys have the initiative and control the situation, greatly irking the Bad Guys!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 25, 2015 3:46:41 PM | 65

Its time for Russia to stop sucking up to France on Syria/"ISIL", Russia was the most eager state to support after Paris attacks, what did they get in return by Hollande? Nothing.

Posted by: Seder | Nov 25, 2015 3:51:30 PM | 66

And now the US sanction a Syrian for buying oil from ISIS

The U.S. Treasury said it was targeting Syrian businessman George Haswani, who it said "serves as a middleman" for oil purchases by the Syrian government from Islamic State. His company, an engineering and construction firm, was also sanctioned.

The European Union sanctioned Haswani in March, and at the time, he denied the accusation that he bought oil from IS militants for the Syrian government, telling Reuters by phone that the EU had no evidence to back up the claim and should instead look for intermediaries he said were smuggling oil to Turkey on Islamic State's behalf.


How convenient, he is connected to Assad and Russia.

Yes, why aren't they looking for the oil in Turkey

Haswani questioned why black market traders in Turkey don't face EU sanctions.

"Where did the oil from Daesh area, that is about 100,000 barrels a day, go? Everyone knows where it goes and where it is being sold," he said, using an Arabic acronym for the group. "How do they move and market oil through Turkey? Where are these traders and why aren't they being punished?"

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25, 2015 3:52:19 PM | 67

Erdoğan consolidates corporate and political power

Turkey's new government includes Erdoğan son-in-law

Erdogan's son-in-law, Berat Albayrak [Çalık Holding], was appointed Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Davutoglu announced, in a news conference after his meeting with Erdogan. The Cabinet included other politicians known to be close to Erdogan, in a clear indication that the president would retain influence over the government.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 25, 2015 4:05:50 PM | 68

New Exxon-Turkey contracts bolster Kurdish export plans - June 10th, 2014
Turkey and hydrocarbons in Iraq - January 14, 2013

Posted by: Oui | Nov 25, 2015 4:09:58 PM | 70

Where are these traders and why aren't they being punished

they're in London and on Wall Street and why aren't they being punished?

because they are backed by the US military.

Posted by: john | Nov 25, 2015 4:12:30 PM | 71

b, I'm not sure that it is necessary to posit a US-involved conspiracy, unless there are other compelling reasons. The Turks were quite capable of doing this on their own. Turks are notorious for hair-trigger militarism. It goes back centuries, back to the medieval period, where Turks were known for military solutions rather than diplomatic. It is why they liked Prussian militarism at the time of the First World War, and allied with it. Of course Prussian militarism is not the only aspect of Germany, and now disappeared, but it's the bit the Turks liked.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 25, 2015 4:29:42 PM | 72

somebody@27 Good catch.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Nov 25, 2015 4:34:23 PM | 73

@64 karlof

... it will be interesting to watch the US and UK squirm at the coming Russian and Chinese backed sanctions on Turkey--and others, surely--for supporting Daesh ... Desperation is what I see. Planning, yes, but not strategic. Did Obama say yes? Certainly as the attack happened. ... The situation's fluid, but Russia and the other Good Guys have the initiative and control the situation, greatly irking the Bad Guys!
My thoughts as well ... may it come about that Russia and the other Good Guys bring about the change Obama lied about two elections ago. And may the Norwegians give Putin a Nobel when he actually produces what they - and all the rest - had the audacity self-induced, eyes-tight-shut stupidity to hope for those eight long years ago.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 25, 2015 4:41:55 PM | 74

@72 @27 ... like bookends, yellowsnap and sb

Indeed! It's great to see Hayward, the BPs-ex, and Camaroon and the Rothschild all caught in the same filthy bed together. The classicly kinky, British ménage à trois.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 25, 2015 4:53:21 PM | 75


11/24/15 Barzani, Mossad dictator of regional govt of Iraqi Kurdistan joins British & French forces in liberation of Raqqa from IS. June 2014 it annexed Iraqi Kirkuk region and a few days ago, Iraqi Sinjar region; next w/b Raqqa in Syria, where they'll proclaim the independent country of Kurdistan straddling the border (including ALL the oil of Iraq).

In Syria, "Democratic Forces of Syria" (group created by France, Britain & Israel on the day of Russia's first strikes) includes Syrian Kurds (YPG) & the some of the N Syrian Arab tribes. They are now forcibly inducting Kurds from Iraqi & Turkish refugee camps into fighting for the creation of "Kurdistan". Refugees are trying to flee the camps, don't want to fight for Barzani family. http://www.voltairenet.org/article189418.html

I still have my doubts that Iran is fully in this fight for a unified Syria. Was there a trade-off for the nuke deal? Even Israel wants to leave Assad a small partition closest to Israel, since it will be a more stable neighbor.


The effect of Turkey's shoot-down of the Russian plane is to puncture the fear, respect & mystique of Russian military prowess-- encouraging Qatar & Saudis to go ahead and arm IS, Ahrar al-Sham, etc w air defenses, etc.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25, 2015 4:56:20 PM | 76

@48/54... pretty much..

@49 tom.. b linked in his post an article at the link 'a new contract' which is well worth the read..

@52 s.. read the article i am suggesting tom read.. that is what they apparently did.. this is why the russian plane was shot down as well! not very good decision making apparatus in place with turkey by the look of it.. they think they can premeditate an act of war with usa looking on, on the basis of protecting there ''moderate'' terrorists in the northwest corner of syria, hoping to leave the supply and manpower lines open.. they are very stupid..

@64 karlof1.. i pretty much agree with your viewpoint..

@71 laguerre.. true enough.. i guess "James Winnefeld, the deputy chief of General Staff of the U.S. military, visiting ankara was just a coincidence.. however, the usa has been turning the other way when all sorts of shit is happening - to further an ongoing agenda.. why would this be any different? they can absolve themselves of any responsibility while silently going along with this brazen act of war, much as they have not gone after ISIS as ISIS is going after assad for them.. it gets tiring watching usa's counter productive, or worse behaviour every step of the way.. nor were obama's words after this event of any help in dispelling any chance of trust or hope in the usa for any good actions on their part.. i guess they are busy helping make things better in the ukraine too..

Posted by: james | Nov 25, 2015 5:01:11 PM | 77

Nobody in Obama's class at Columbia University remembers him being there, although he supposedly graduated in 1983. Release the Records: Ben Carson vs. Barack Obama, College Edition.

Lends credence to the accusation that Obama is a CIA plant, whose career has long been advanced by the spooks.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 25, 2015 5:02:38 PM | 78

Juan Cole also analyzed the shoot down of the russian fighter plane.

http://www.juancole.com/2015/11/turkey-russian-plane.html

It seems that Turkey is arming the turkmen in Syria in their fight against Assad. Attacking the Turkmen could be a "red line" for Turkey and an attack on "Latakia" seems to be the "red line" for Russia. If one of those two "red lines" is violated then Cole thinks we could see an escalation into a full scale war. Ouch.

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 25, 2015 5:03:55 PM | 79

Harry Law @ 16,

Turkey is right. ISIS should have at least a consulate to help all those nice jihadis enter Syria. Yeah, let's give ISIS newest recruits VISAS for heaven's sakes. How about a seat in the UN, too? All I can say is . . . wtf??? Why discriminate against cannibals or head choppers-- We could call it religious freedom. No, no, I've got it-- If Supreme Ct considers money to be speech, why not headchopping? Certainly gives a powerful-- even universal-- message.

In a rational Western world, the comments of Turkey's "Defense" minister would make headlines in every MSM newspaper.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25, 2015 5:05:37 PM | 80

@75 penelope.. that might be the desire of the turkey plane attack, but i doubt very much it is going to be the outcome.. my impression is russia is going to hit back harder.. turkey now has a black eye on the international scene thanks a terrible strategist and the usa is running out of ways to hide from how it wants to screw europe and syria at the same time.. too bad turkey hasn't figured that out yet..

Posted by: james | Nov 25, 2015 5:05:41 PM | 81

What gives Turkey the right to commit acts of war to defend the Turkmen on Syrian soil? That they're Volks-Türken? Where have we heard that sort of thing before?

Posted by: lysias | Nov 25, 2015 5:08:45 PM | 82

MrBenny @19:

Turkey, however is alone and isolated, and for all intents and purposes, no longer backed by NATO.

Really? I think Lyndon Johnson said it best: "They may be bastards, but they're our bastards."

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2015 5:09:54 PM | 83

James @ 80,

The response of KSA & Qatar has nothing to do w how You & I see it. The Princeling that's running KSA is too young & ignorant to have a full-size brain yet.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25, 2015 5:12:28 PM | 84

Morningstar @23, I don't agree that Russia "has only itself to blame", since obviously the lion's share of the blame goes to the aggressor-- but I think you make valid points, nevertheless.

@ 26 I've been trying to figure out forever if the electronic jamming involves more than preventing communication & the use of radar & satelite imaging. Certainly doesn't seem to prevent vfr flying, bombing, etc.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25, 2015 5:14:22 PM | 85

A couple of hours ago, I heard on CNN what is alleged to be a recording of the Turkish ground control's communication to the SU-24 telling it to turn back. The Turkish government apparently released it.

Trouble is, I heard great difficulty making out what the ground control was saying with his poor English. If CNN hadn't helpfully displayed a transcription, I don't think I could have understood it.

And I am a native speaker of English. I am a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who spent years listening to air-to-ground and ground-to-air communications in English and other languages. I have spent months in Turkey, and have passed the U.S. military's Turkish Proficiency Exam. So I am familiar with Turkish accents. And I had great difficulty understanding that recording.

How could a Russian pilot have understood it?

Posted by: lysias | Nov 25, 2015 5:15:26 PM | 86

Alan @ 30, 'preciate your frustration but the latest UN resolution on Syria gives anyone "fighting ISIS" the right to enter Syria or Iraq.
---
Alaric @ 37, I agree it's quite possible that Turkey acted alone. And yes, I think China's manpower -- and/or Iran's-- is needed to prevent partitioning of Syria & Iraq. I'm also finding it difficult to understand why Putin kept inviting the West to join in the war.
---
Somebody @66, Yeah, it's a cynical action investigating Syrians for buying back some of their own stolen oil, cuz the country needs oil.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25, 2015 5:16:26 PM | 87

Juan Cole has more interesting articles.

E.g. it seems Donald Trump is trying to use the terrorist card to his own advantage.
http://www.juancole.com/2015/11/against-candlelight-sympathizing.html

The "War on Terror" started by the Bush administration certainly has influenced/poisioned more and more (right wing) minds in the US. See e.g.
http://mediamatters.org/

US troops soon to be sent to Syria ? And what are they going to fight ? The russian troops ? ISIS ?
http://www.juancole.com/2015/11/forces-russia-turkey.html

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 25, 2015 5:18:45 PM | 88

The Bear is responding with a vengeance and lots of stuff is being blown up to bits near the Turkish border. Turkey can't do anything about it. Turkish F-16 scrambled to the border are being illuminated by Russian SAMs even as soon they leave their air base inside Turkey.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 25, 2015 5:20:07 PM | 89

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 25, 2015 5:16:26 PM | 87

No, the UN resolution on Syria does not do that

Resolution 2249 does not provide any legal basis for military action and does not invoke chapter seven of the UN charter that authorises the use of force.

French diplomats maintain, however, that it will provide important international political support to the anti-Isil campaign that has been ramped up since the attacks in Paris on Friday that left 129 dead.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25, 2015 5:23:59 PM | 90

@89: Do you have a(n) (english) translation for that video ? I am not that well versed in one or the other arabic language.

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 25, 2015 5:26:12 PM | 91

@45 Glencore you say? Zerohedge has been all over Glencore recently:

"We wonder how long until someone finally asks the all important question regarding the Islamic State: who is the commodity trader breaching every known law of funding terrorism when buying ISIS crude, almost certainly with the tacit approval by various "western alliance" governments, and why is it that these governments have allowed said middleman to continue funding ISIS for as long as it has?" ...

"What we do know is who they may be: they are the same names that were quite prominent in the market in September when Glencore had its first, and certainly not last, near death experience: the Glencores, the Vitols, the Trafiguras, the Nobels, the Mercurias of the world."

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-19/most-important-question-about-isis-nobody-asking

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Nov 25, 2015 5:29:12 PM | 92

karlof1 @
US Empire has no more cards to play, aside from committing what remains of its Army to fight for Daesh and against Syria

Why would they do that? Wouldn't they fight against Daesh (wink wink) to control territory that would otherwise be lost to the 4+1 Coalition?

That would result in a map that would look somewhat like this:

WEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EAST
.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anti-ISIS . . . . .
4+1 . . . . ."Moderate . . . Coalition . . ISIS/
Coalition . . Rebels" . . . . Refugee .. . ISIL
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Safe-Zone . . . . .

Anti-ISIS Coalition would be drawn from from anti-Assad and "neutral countries" primarily Turkey and Jordan. There would be some number of US Special forces as well as air support from Turkey, Jordan and US.

Note: with moderate Rebel battle lines shifting, Russia might find it difficult to ensure that they are not targeting civilians or the anti-ISIS Coalition.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2015 5:33:35 PM | 93

The map is a bit messed up. Should be:

"4+1 Coalition" on the left, "Moderate Rebels" to their right, "anti-ISIS Coalition Refugee Safe Area", to their right, and "ISIS/ISIL" on the right.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2015 5:37:17 PM | 94

Thanks Willy2

The Juan Cole articles that you linked to helped me to understand Turkey's motivations and reinforced by belief that the political process is now paramount in US eyes.

I still think that returning refugees is not enough. The anti-Assad Coalition would want to control their entry and resettlement in the hope/expectation that they can influence their vote (and prevent Russia/Assad from doing the same).

Creating a safe area for return of refugees and fighting ISIS seem very much aligned. Both require ground troops that hold territory. Those ground troops not not have to be all US or all NATO. They could be from several nations.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2015 5:59:39 PM | 95

re 95. The idea of a "safe area" is dead. Nobody is capable of guaranteeing it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 25, 2015 6:09:50 PM | 96


I will simply say...

Hope Russia's warship’s equips with S-400 (missile) shoots down any warplane without permission in Syria's airspace. This is international law according to the US and Turkey

Posted by: Jack Smith | Nov 25, 2015 6:11:35 PM | 97

When Russia go to war, they end up taking land/territory. I hope Erdogan is prepared to cede a huge swathe of Turkey because that might be a possible outcome of any Russia/Turkey confrontation.

As the Russians always do. They never act until they've gathered all the facts. The next few days will be for documenting what really happened. They'll follow through at the appropriate UN channels and demand a condemnation - this will expose NATO as a collaborator in the whole act because they'll vote against any condemnation of Turkey. After that, let the game begin. All Turkish F-16 will only be useful as display models in their bases. With S-400 covering almost all important bits of Syria, Turkish jets will have to remain grounded. This will give Kurdish forces free reign to inflict a great deal of pain on Erdogan's army.

All Russia wants is a public apology from Sultan Erdogan himself. But the guy's too arrogant and thick to do that.

Posted by: Zico | Nov 25, 2015 6:17:45 PM | 98

Somebody @90:

The UNSC resolution doesn't allow for military action against the Syrian government but it does authorize "... Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures ... on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, to prevent and suppress terrorist acts ... and to eradicate the safe
haven they have established ... [in] Syria and Iraq.

I've been trying to point out for a couple of days now that they goal has changed from violent overthrow of Assad to a political process that results in an ELECTION.

IMO, the anti-Assad Coalition believes that they can win that election.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2015 6:19:37 PM | 99

In the past, I think, the talk of "safe haven" has been for "moderate rebels" that the anti-ISIS Coalition believe deserve protection because they are fighting against a tyrant and human rights violator (Assad).

The UNSC resolution doesn't authorize attacking the Assad government, but it does (in my reading) authorize taking and holding (for the benefit of the refugees) territory that is now controlled by ISIS.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2015 6:41:14 PM | 100

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