Yves here. This is going to be a real test of Putin’s leadership. Will he exercise restraint in the face of this level of provocation? And domestically, can he afford to?
The only good news is that the NATO has yet to view this situation as requiring collective action. From International Business Times:
With Turkish and Russian officials giving conflicting accounts of the incident, the North Atlantic Council meeting raises the possibility that Turkey could invoke NATO’s Article 5, the clause that says an attack against one ally is an attack against all….
A NATO official told the Associated Press that the meeting would be held at Turkey’s request. “At the request of Turkey, the North Atlantic Council will hold an extraordinary meeting at 17.00 (Brussels time). The aim of this extraordinary NAC meeting is for Turkey to inform allies about the downing of a Russian airplane. NATO is monitoring the situation closely. We are in close contact with Turkish authorities,” the council said in a statement, according to the Guardian.
A spokesman for NATO told the Guardian the meeting would not fall under Article 4, in which a member country discusses a threat to territorial integrity, political independence or security, but it would be purely for information.
By George Washington. Originally published at Washington’s Blog
A U.S. official told Reuters that the Russian jet was inside of Syria when it was shot down:
The United States believes that the Russian jet shot down by Turkey on Tuesday was hit inside Syrian airspace after a brief incursion into Turkish airspace, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Russian jet pilots who parachutted free of their burning plane were then purportedly killed by Turkish rebels inside Syria. If true, this is a war crime.
Russia is deploying a warship off the Syrian coast to “destroy any threats to Russian planes”. Many believe this is the start of World War III.
While the U.S. and NATO tried to blame Russia, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel slammed Turkey:
“This incident shows for the first time that we are to dealing with an actor who is unpredictable according to statements from various parts of the region – that is not Russia, that is Turkey,” Gabriel said, as cited by DPA news agency. He added that Turkey was playing “a complicated role” in the Syrian conflict.
Indeed, NATO-member Turkey is MASSIVELY supporting ISIS, provided chemical weapons used in the jihadi’s massacre of civilians, and has been bombing ISIS’ main on-the-ground enemy – Kurdish soldiers – using its air force. And some of the Turkish people are also unsympathetic to the victims of ISIS terrorism.Turkey was also instrumental in the creation of ISIS. An internal Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document produced recently shows, the U.S. knew that the actions of “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey” in Syria might create a terrorist group like ISIS and an Islamic CALIPHATE.
As the former DIA head explained:
It was a willful decision [by Turkey, the West and Gulf countries] to … support an insurgency that had salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood ….