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 15:26 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Unless Russia exacts a heavy price from Turkey and Ukranian Nazis for their murderous activities, these are bound to escalate. Reports that Turk intelligence helped Ukraine nazis cut electricity to Crimea should elicit a VERY strong response.

Posted by: Andoheb | Nov 27 2015 23:04 utc | 201

Russia's conflict with the energy hub of Eurasia - Turkey

Posted by: Oui | Nov 28 2015 4:25 utc | 202

One thing being missed, now both of Russia's gas pipeline projects are dead. With Ukraine, and now with Turkey, "there are no other options" (Gazprom head Alexey Miller). Not so bad for US, they're securing EU and any wayward 'NATO' allies safely to themselves.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/impacts-of-turkeys-aggression-the-turkish-stream-is-dead-disruption-of-gas-pipeline-routes-to-the-eu-russias-economy-in-crisis/5491756

Posted by: emcorbeau | Nov 28 2015 10:20 utc | 203

Oh, there will be Northstream II - which will be built and is one reason of Eastern European ill will towards Germany.

And of course there is Eastring which "is in the early stages of planning" and depends heavily on - you guess it, Turkey and that pipeline through Syria.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 28 2015 11:08 utc | 204

@204

Perhaps now the gas from Iran and fields north will be piped across Iraq and Syria after the two nations are liberated. The Russians can build the pipeline, develop the Syrian offshore fields, and eventually add their gas to the same piplines in Central Asia.

Putin seems to have realigned himself, at least, with a fossil fuel-less future ...


Ladies and Gentlemen. The issues that affect the futures of all people include the challenge of global climate change. It is in our interest to make the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in December in Paris a success. As part of our national contribution, we plan to reduce by 2030 the greenhouse emmissions to 70-75% of the 1990 level. I suggest, however, we should take a wider view on this issue.

Yes, we might defuse the problem for awhile by setting quotas on harmful emissons or by taking other measures, which are nothing but tactical, but we will not solve it that way. We need a completely new approach.

We have to focus on introducing fundamental and new technologies inspired by nature which will not damage the environment but will be in harmony with it. Also they will allow us to restore the balance between the biosphere and technosphere upset by human activities. It is indeed a challenge of planetary scope, but I am confident that humankind has [the] intellectual potential to address it. We need to join our efforts.

I refer first of all to the states that have a solid research basis, and that have made significant advances in fundamental science. We propose convening a special forum under the UN auspices for a comprehensive consideration of the issues related to the depletion of natural resources, the destruction of habitat, and climate change. Russia would be ready to co-sponsor such a forum.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 28 2015 11:18 utc | 205

efefrrg

Posted by: rgrtr | Dec 6 2015 21:35 utc | 206

You are being fuuny, because after Syria downed Turkish training unarmed aircraft Turkey changed its rules of engagement and Russia is already warned many times in advance but they kept doing the same mistake, Come on WHAT would US do if a Russian armed aircraft violate US's borders ? If Russian aircraft had bombed civilians in Turkey's lands how would Turkish people act ? It would be shame of them. And also in 90s Russia shut down Us's U2 aircraft because it was a legitimate target and we are in 2015, that SU-24 also a legitimate target too. On the other hand Turkey is not supporting ISIL, Until now ISIL had made two suicide bomb attack and more than 200 civilian died. Turkey bombed ISIL in Syria and making operations in its own borders. All those are excuses of people who don't like Turkey but WE must be objective and realistic. Turkey knows what is "terrorism" . They are fighting against terrorist for years and thousands soldiers are killed by terrorists.

Posted by: MR G | Dec 6 2015 21:43 utc | 207

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