Here we go? – Turkey downs Russian plane near Syrian border

“The Turkish military said it issued 10 warnings in five minutes before the Su-24 attack aircraft was shot down by two F-16 jets. Russia’s defense ministry denied the plane ever strayed from Syria… In a related incident, Syrian rebels claimed to have shot down a Russian helicopter searching for the plane’s pilots, using U.S.-supplied TOW missiles.” (1).

On November 5th this year, I posted a brief article “Here it comes? U.S., Russia prepare to face-off in Syria” (2) in which I commented on U.S. and Russian military activities which I feel indicate the distinct possibility of increased – and possibly catastrophic – tensions between the two.

“A couple of days ago, we were told that the U.S. is sending aircraft equipped only with air-to-air missiles to Syria, and today we are told that the Russians are sending ground-based anti-aircraft missiles to Syria… Russia’s missiles could only be aimed at American planes, and America’s air-to-air missile planes could only be intended for use against Russian planes, as ISIS and it’s allies do not possess a functioning airforce. And while Syria does, both America and Russia are there to fight on behalf of Syria.”

What I didn’t anticipate was Turkey – a member of NATO and thus an American proxy as the Russians would see it – hauling off and downing a Russian warplane. And my fears of the various proxies tangling with each other – or attacking Russian or American troops or “friends” – seem justified by the Russian helicopter incident. Things will very quickly move into high gear from here…

The plane was shot down in a Syrian area bordering Turkey which is inhabited by ethnic Turks, and this is a further complication. There’s nothing like ongoing instability to encourage land-grabbing and the settling of old ethnic and boundary disputes.

And, as the article “Turkey downs Russian warplane claiming airspace breach” (1) goes on to say, “…U.S. warplanes and air crews have been helping the Turks protect their airspace from Russian incursion. To back the Turks earlier this month, the U.S. Air Force sent six F-15C fighters to Turkey. Those warplanes are designed to defeat enemy fighter aircraft.” This is exactly what I was referring to in my own article.

The two sides are setting the scene for military exchanges which could go from local to global very quickly, particularly if Russia carries out it’s threat to use tactical (small) nuclear weapons on ISIS.

The world awaits it’s fate…

Jeff Goodall.

(1) – See “Turkey downs Russian warplane claiming airspace breach” here.

(2) – See “Here it comes? U.S., Russia prepare to face-off in Syria” here.