Look at this map. The Russian SU-24 shot down 4 km inside Syria passed over a tiny tip of Turkey that protrudes into Syria. As Putin said, the jet obviously posed no threat to Turkey. A Turkish F-16 shot it down anyway, after following it into Syria apparently. Then our “moderate” rebels shot down a relief helicopter with US missiles, and killed the parachuted pilots, one after he hit the ground – another war crime to chalk up to “our guys”.
Turkey says it repeatedly warned the Russian jet, but how many times can you warn somebody when they are in your airspace for a couple minutes (now they are saying 17 seconds), with an obvious trajectory out of your airspace? After all, where were the Turkish F-16s when they shot the Russian plane down well inside Syria? Turkish and Israeli planes have been violating Syrian airspace repeatedly and provocatively since the start of the Russian air campaigns. Russia has done nothing about them so far. Now, though Putin says the “inevitable” response will not be military, Syria’s new S-300 anti-aircraft missiles may be deployed to take on ISIS sugar-daddies, not just ISIS. Following many suggestions in this direction, Putin today was plain that Turkey’s action‘s reveal it to be an “accomplice of terrorism.” That still puts it mildly.
Let me state clearly my suspicions — though no ‘proof’ is possible because the information stream is completely controlled by Ankara (Paris, DC…): Erdogan stole the elections, he used ISIS to bomb the Kurds at Suruç and massacre Kurd and peace supporters at Ankara, and like many a desperate despot, now wants to provoke war to save his corrupt regime. I believe Erdogan must be a major suspect for the Paris attacks, though these too could not have been carried out without the collaboration of high-ranking elements of the French secret services and political administration.
Obama is attempting to calm matters between Turkey and Russia, and Putin certainly will not act irrationally. But the US Prez plainly backed Turkey in the incident, saying it had a right to defend itself. Except that it was not attacked. In the English-language press, it is reported that Putin has charged Erdogan with “back-stabbing”. This is precisely the charge Turks generally make about the Arabs when they fell for England’s lies and turned against the Ottomans in WW1.
Perhaps Putin set himself up for this in more ways than one. Most questionable were the provocative passes through corners of Turkey in the first days of the Russian airstrikes. But in the last week Russia has stepped up its anti-ISIS campaigns, and made plain to the world that “certain members of the G-20” are ISIS backers. Everybody knows Turkey is tops on the list. Everybody but the US public knows they could not be so successful were it not for collusion between the Turkish and US intel (MIT and CIA) and the support of Gen John Allen (ISIS ‘czar’), John McCain, and Lindsay Graham and all manner of US hawks, neo-liberal hawks, neo-con chicken-hawks, and the military-industrial complex, the Elysium to which the Pentagon retires.
This is the “illegal” war Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has demanded the US put an end to. Unfortunately it seems to be heating up, and the US is playing both sides in public; God knows what it is doing behind the scenes.
So, what provoked Erdogan?
In part, it is because the Syrian campaign has reached the borders of Turkey. In moves that surprised many, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), allied militia, with Russian air support, have pushed north from Latakia towards the Turkish border. Here they have battled with Cechen and Turkman ‘rebels’ funded by Turkey. This has certainly incensed Erdogan. But it gets worse. It gets personal.
In the last week, Russia reportedly has destroyed hundreds of tanker-trucks carting ISIS oil. The US says they it has done so as well, and said it dropped leaflets to the hapless and innocent drivers to warn them off before their loads were destroyed. That actually is a good idea. Whether any of it is true is anyone’s guess. As usual, the US offered no proof it had done any of this, but CNN presented footage of Russian bombing campaigns as those of the US so the US public rests assured.
What US press never tells, and Sultan Obama, locked deep in the inner recesses of his Topkapi Palace, either does not know or does not want you to know, is that the ISIS oil industry is one big happy Western-alliance party. The cross-border transfer of oil is run by of Tayyip’s son, Bilal Erdogan. This illicit commerce keeps the House of Erdogan afloat, just like the CIA opium trade from Afghanistan keeps the Bush mafia afloat. Now they both are hurting, as are the other benefactors. BP is the principle purchaser of ISIS oil and HSBC is their principle money-launderer. As usual, Israel and the US are the muscle, but Turkey has some biceps too. They finally used them when it got personal.
For the time being, go to my ISIS IS US page for links backing my more general assertions in the second half of this piece.
For an update, see my more recent post, Turkey’s Act of War: A Boiling Pot of Frogs and Hawks.