If you’re worried that Turkey’s going to use Article 5 of NATO to drag the U.S. and other western nations into a hot war with Russia, don’t be. Sounds from this response like NATO will fall apart before anyone goes to the mat for the Turks.
NATO ambassadors called on Ankara to show “cool-headedness” on Tuesday following an emergency meeting in Brussels, after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border, diplomats said.
Diplomats present at the meeting told Reuters that while none of the 28 NATO envoys defended Russia’s actions, many expressed concern that Turkey did not escort the Russian warplane out of its airspace.
On the one hand, this wasn’t the first violation of Turkish airspace lately by a Russian jet. Erdogan’s complained about it to NATO before; NATO’s secretary-general said last month that the frequency and duration of the intrusions made it hard to believe Russia isn’t doing it purposefully. Turkey got tired of asking Russia nicely to stay out — and asking, and asking, as they reportedly warned the pilots of the jet that was brought down today 10 times in five minutes to scram ASAP. (Did Russia actually violate their airspace today, though? Moscow denies it.) On the other hand, the point of Article 5 obviously isn’t to trigger a regional war because a Russian jet en route to a target in Syria strayed a mile into Turkish territory or whatever it was. The paradigm case for Article 5 is hundreds of Russian tanks rolling towards Warsaw or Berlin, not one jet being a little too cute about Russia’s new hegemony in western Syria. Show of hands: Who thinks Europe’s militaries are going to spring into action after a long hiatus from major wars to enforce the integrity of Turkish airspace to the last inch?
Putin called the shootdown a “stab in the back” by western allies who are supposed to be fighting ISIS with him and warned of “very serious consequences,” but he might be willing to endure one embarrassment without retaliating in the name of avoiding escalation. Would he be willing to endure two, though?
Turkmen forces in Syria shot dead the two pilots of a Russian jet downed by Turkish warplanes near the border with Turkey on Tuesday as they descended with parachutes, a deputy commander of a Turkmen brigade told reporters.
“Both of the pilots were retrieved dead. Our comrades opened fire into the air and they died in the air,” Alpaslan Celik, a deputy commander in a Syrian Turkmen brigade said near the Syrian village of Yamadi as he held what he said was a piece of a pilot’s parachute.
Turkmen are ethnic Turks in Syria who have no association with the state of Turkey, but that’s not the point. The point is that killing the pilots, while they were defenseless on their way to the ground, will make the affront of the jet being shot down sting even more in Russia.
No surprise with a bunch of weaklings that rule NATO those days. Turkey did exactly what must be done, showing thug Putin that he is not untouchable. Thugs understand only actions of force and laugh off all civilized diplomacy.
The amount of airspace the Russian jet went over would only take 30 seconds to get through.
No way the Turks warned the Russians 10 times before shooting.
It was over Syrian airspace when it was hit.
Our Turk allies are in a pickle, they believe we want Assad out and Russia is killing those trying to overthrow him, cause Putin wants him to stay. The rescue helicopter was shot down with American supplied arms. Seems we are not on the same page or there are no pages.
If Russia retaliates against a Turkmen military target they should do it in a measured fashion, keep it on the Syrian side of the border, and we should protest strongly but do nothing. I could hardly blame them.
I don’t trust Turkey’s claim that the Russian jet crossed into Turkish airspace any more than I trust Russia’s assertion that it didn’t. Even if it did, this wasn’t necessary.
I am reminded of a “Get Smart” episode where Max asks his arch-rival, Siegfried, how he could stab a friend in the back, to which Siegfried replies, “Who do you EXPECT me to stab in the back? Mien ENEMIES?”
Does Putin think that because he rolled into town, told everyone to stay out of his way, then started attacking our allies instead of our enemies, we are buddies? His response reminds me of Obama, after telling Republicans he won, they lost, get in the back seat and do what they are told, then complaining that Republicans will not give him the cooperation he demands. I wonder if when he and Putin talk, they finish each others sentences?
I don’t see what it matters where the weapons came from; surely we supplied those before Russia got to the show. No, there are no pages; it is about 8 different conflicts going on over the same territory… what it looks like when the US “leads from behind”, back where everyone else is.
@Greg: I’ll bet there is satellite imagery available that shows precisely where the a/c was. If the Russian was on the Turkish side of the border, we will release the image. If it was on the Syrian side, the Russians will release it.
@Bill: If the Russians have been bombing ISIS -it appears it happens rarely–they are allies—if they are bombing Assad opposition they are not allies..Putin has to make a decision–ISIS challenged him when it bombed Russian plane–he should go after them. He may decide defense of Assad more important–he can’t do both.
ISIS is so cocky they WANT American and Russian boots on the ground–crazy bastards. Calm .methodical coalition bombing for 3-4 months-THEN take em on the ground.
@Bill: Right again Bill, those weapons were there before Russia came in, an attempt to over throw another despot and further destabilize the area. Then russia who uses syria steps in and the talk changes from Assad must go!, to I hope he doesn’t run for president again. What a mess, having those that are in charge now for this administration doesn’t give comfort.
Or they will release some poor-made fake “evidence”, like that Photoshop picture showing Ukrainian fighter shooting at Malaysian airliner.
Now it comes out that unlucky russian jet had no markings. Green men again, heh? ruskies will always be ruskies…