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Shooting of Russian Jet by Turkey-Global Peace in Pieces

Posted by on Nov 29th, 2015 and filed under FEATURED, Recent Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

DR. MINHAJ QIDWAI
Turkey_shoots_Russian_plane THE shooting down of a Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 jet by Turkish F-16 fighters after it reportedly violated Turkish airspace is a dangerous escalation in the context of the Middle East conflict.

There are conflicting claims from both sides. The Turkish authorities claim that the Su-24 fighter bomber ignored repeated warnings and was then shot down after violating Turkish airspace. Russia claims that the Su-24 did not cross the Syria-Turkey border and was, therefore, illegally attacked. This was not the first time that Russian jets violated Turkish air space. A smilar incident occured on October 3rd and 4th, when the Russian Su-30SM and Su-24 jets violated Turkish airspace repeatedly in the same Hatay province. Furthermore, on October 16, a small drone of an unknown nationality, but suspected of being Russian in origin was shot down in a similar fashion.

Turkey reserves the right to safeguard its air space. In 2013, a Syrian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter and a Mig-23 fighter bomber were both destroyed in two separate incidents after they entered Turkish airspace. The Turkish Air Force shot down another Syrian Mig-23 in March 2014 after it ignoring repeated warnings. Syria has also previously shot down Turkish military aircrafts which have entered Syrian airspace.

The airspace on the Syrian-Turkish border is a known as a high-tension front line where lethal force is regularly employed if warnings are ignored. The fact that there are no ISIL forces near that portion of the Syrian-Turkish border, and that the Su-24 was most likely engaged in continued Russian air strikes against Turkmen rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad as part of the Free Syrian Army, will doubtless stay off the Russian script.

If, as Turkey claims, the Su-24 shot down did violate Turkish airspace and ignore repeated warnings, it should not come as a surprise to either side that it was shot down. Much will now depend on how convincingly Turkey and NATO can demonstrate that the Russian jet did indeed enter Turkish airspace, and how the tightly Kremlin-controlled Russian media chooses to spin the story for the Russian public. Putin most likely knows that he has only his own policies to blame. Furthermore, Russia will need to muster public opinion for its actions towards involvement in the Syrian conflict as he cannot be seen to admit any such thing in public. Therefore, he must continue to claim publicly that Turkey is villainously stabbing Russia in the back in the midst of her heroic battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

Instead of accepting the mistake of violating Turkish air space, Putin is using this opportunity to escalate the tensions by putting economic sanctions on Turkey. At the other end Turkey has shown its softness by extending an olive branch of apology, which still felt short of saying “SORRY” expected by Russia. In any case, it is vital in the coming days that leaders on both sides try to avoid more inflammatory rhetoric and avoid further escalation.

With so many military forces pursuing their own, often conflicting agendas in Syria and the wider region; the world cannot afford to risk brinkmanship over this incident. The Russian unilateral decision of bombing of the fighters against the Assad regime is already a serious blow towards bringing peace in the region. The incidence in Paris has already fueled the crises. However, to control oil, General Clark mentioned earlier that they needed to control seven countries-five already under control-Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq. The next on their agenda are Syria and Iran. So, the world powers in pursuit of control of oil are fighting to gain control of Syria. The cost is being paid by the people in the region and overall humanity. Sanity should prevail in bringing peace in the region and not to put global peace in pieces.

Dr. A. Qidwai is a Marketing, Management, and Education consultant. He can be reached at qidwaiminhaj@yahoo.com

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