Both countries are NATO allies, united against Assad, wanting him toppled, actively complicit in supporting and using ISIS, as well as other terrorist groups as proxy foot soldiers in the war Obama launched in March 2011.
It’s inconceivable Turkey acted on its own, independent of US-dominated NATO. Its action is a major geopolitical incident – a premeditated act of war against Russia in Syrian airspace.
Ankara claiming the aircraft entered Turkish airspace, ignoring multiple warnings, has the distinct aroma of a bald-faced lied to cover up a hostile act.
Erdogan’s recklessness ruptured Turkish/Russian relations, at least for the time being. Sergey Lavrov cancelled his scheduled Wednesday trip to Istanbul, saying “(a) decision has been made to cancel the meeting at the level of Russian and Turkish foreign ministers…”
He urged Russian citizens avoid visiting Turkey, leaving themselves vulnerable to terrorism, adding:
“It’s necessary to emphasize that the terror threats with their roots in Turkey have been aggravated. And that’s true even if we don’t take into account what happened today. We estimate the threats to be no less than in Egypt.”
Russia’s state tourism agency Rostourism recommended suspending tour package sales to Turkey. Moscow-based Natalie tours already did so.
Putin minced no words blasting Erdogan, saying “(t)his incident stands out against the usual fight against terrorism.”
“Our troops are fighting heroically against terrorists, risking their lives. But the loss we suffered today came from a stab in the back delivered by accomplices of the terrorists.” He warned of grave consequence for Russian/Turkish relations.
A Turkish Lockheed-Martin produced F-16 warplane willfully and without provocation downed Russia’s aircraft posing no threat to Ankara’s national security, Putin explained.
He’s well aware of Erdogan’s complicity with terrorists Russia is combating in Syria – at the request of its government, its actions entirely legal and heroic against a common scourge.
“IS has big money, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, from selling (stolen Syrian) oil. In addition they are protected by the military of an entire nation,” Putin stressed – leaving no doubt he means Turkey, well aware of Washington using ISIS and other takfiri terrorists as proxy foot soldiers against Assad’s legitimate government.
“One can understand why they are acting so boldly and blatantly,” said Putin. “Why they kill people in such atrocious ways. Why they commit terrorist acts across the world, including in the heart of Europe.”
Recalling Russia’s ambassador may come next. Expect Putin to react appropriately to what happened. It’s too serious to ignore or smooth over through normal diplomatic channels between both nations.
Putin explained Ankara didn’t contact Russia after what happened, instead outrageously called an emergency late afternoon Tuesday NATO meeting – apparently wanting the Alliance to serve the interests of ISIS, he added. Its actions won’t be tolerated, he stressed.
Washington backed Turkey’s absurd claim about issuing “10 warnings” before downing Russia’s aircraft. Was it directly complicit with what happened?
It bears repeating. It’s inconceivable Turkey acted alone without permission or direct complicity with NATO’s highest authority. America provides 75% of its budget. It calls the shots – deciding whether, when, where and how to act or react.
Erdogan’s action was reckless. Obama is playing with fire if his involvement with what happened is determined. Putin won’t let it pass without appropriate actions in response, already begun.
An official protest was lodged with Turkey military attache. A Russian Defense Ministry statement said “(w)e are considering actions of the Turkish air forces as an unfriendly act.”
Moscow’s anti-terrorist campaign in Syria will continue as planned, maybe intensified further after what happened – Turkey now clearly and openly an adversary in the war on terrorism, risking direct confrontation with Russia.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.