21st Century Wire says…
Earlier today, it’s reported that a NATO Turkish F16 aircraft shot down a Russian Su-24 Fighter Bomber with an air-to-air missile near the Syria-Turkish border. It is the first time that a NATO fighter has downed a Russian combat aircraft since the start of the Cold War nearly 70 years ago.
Russian President Vladimir Putin led a brief press conference this afternoon to make a statement on the international incident today.
Putin stated that in no way did the Russian Su-24 fighter violate Turkish airspace. He added, “In no way did our Russian planes threaten the nation of Turkey.”
The super sonic aircraft was flying 1 km (.6 miles) inside Syrian territory when it was shot down, with the plane and the pilots landing in Syrian territory.
A disturbing video was released online depicting US and NATO-backed “moderate rebels” celebrating over what appears to be a dead Russian pilot, while shouting jihadist, Takfirist slogans, and could be heard saying “Mujadehin!” Another “moderate” could be heard saying, “We should have burned him before he was dead.”
It’s unclear as yet whether or not a second Russian pilot who has parachuted to safety has survived or not, or possibly captured.
Putin came out immediately with a series of statements which should send shockwaves across the NATO bloc and beyond. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already been implicated in fueling much of the instability in Syria by allowing ISIS and other ‘moderate’ terrorists to cross over into Turkey, as well as using the US-led coalition in order to settle its own score against Kurdish militia.
Turkey’s brash move will almost certainly cause a freeze in diplomatic relations between Ankara and Moscow.
“We all signed an agreement to work together to fight terrorism”, Putin said and then delivered a sharp rebuke to Turkey, saying, “This was a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists.”
“Do they want NATO to serve the interests of ISIS?” said Putin.
Today’s incident exposes Turkey’s own willful violation and ignorance towards the multilateral ‘deconfliction’ contact center that was set-up precisely to avoid the very situation which happened today. It will be difficult for Turkey to explain away its actions, and its aggressive act will certainly open the door to more scrutiny into Turkey’s pivotal role in facilitating extremist terrorist fighters, including al Qaeda and ISIS, within its borders since as early as 2011, and also Turkey’s involvement in ISIS’s now famous $1.5 million illicit oil trade which runs in and out of Turkey’s heavily surveilled border with Syria. Any serious investigation into this illegal trade will also bring Britain into the ISIS-oil frame too, as evidenced by this latest report commissioned by Middle East Eye, which details British involvement in the illegal ISIS oil trade.
“We will analyse everything, and today’s tragic event will have significant consequences, including for Russia-Turkish relations. We have always treated Turkey as a friendly state. I don’t know who was interested in what happened today, certainly not us. And instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from NATO to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours.”
Indeed, Turkey is dependent on a number of products, including Russian gas, as well as valuable nuclear expertise. Ankara would struggle to replace Russian supplies, but it’s likely that the US would insert itself in order to assuage any Turkish concerns in this area.
Ever since it entered the Syrian conflict, Russia’s air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have radically shifted the balance of power away from the extremist conclave, but it’s also been a sharp blow to Turkey’s aspirations of regime change in Syria. This desire of Ankara’s regional hegemony dovetails with Washington, France, Britain and the GCC’s desire to overthrow the Damascus government, and collapse the nation state of Syria.
This crisis could be one of NATO’s worst internal meltdowns since its founding in 1949, prompting military leaders to hold an emergency meeting early this evening.
In addition, expect high-level, UN Security diplomatic and round table negotiations to be held as early as this week in Europe.
Watch 21WIRE’s Patrick Henningsen breakdown today’s events with RT International in Moscow:
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