By Walid Shoebat
The unfolding developments between Russia and Turkey reflected a dangerous new superpower entanglement in the war in Syria showing how the situation could escalate and turn on a dime into a full fledged war between two regional superpowers. On Saturday 10 F-16s scrambled at the Turkish-Syrian border during which a Russian MIG-29 placed two Turkish F-16s under radar lock for five minutes and 40 seconds.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said during an interview with Haber Turk television that NATO-member Turkey would enforce its rules of engagement if and when its airspace is violated again. Those rules call for the treatment of any element approaching the Turkish border from Syria as an enemy. So by this, Turkey is warning Russia that the next time it will be open season and a war could erupt between Russia and Turkey.
“The Turkish armed forces have their orders,” Davutoglu warned. “The necessary will be done even if it’s a bird that violates Turkey’s border … Our rules of engagement are clear.”
This means war.
As Shoebat.com predicted several times in the past that a showdown between Russia and Turkey is imminent and the latest situation sets the beginning stages.
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The situation between Russia and Turkey reflects on 2011 when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin likened the call for armed intervention in the Middle East to the “medieval crusades”. This was his first major remarks from Russia when Western coalition began airstrikes on Libya and now Putin is determined to undo what has happened as result of the Arab Spring and the rise of Islamic Caliphate aspiration that stemmed from Turkey.
This stands in direct opposition to Erdogan’s plans for his dreams for the Ottoman revival where the addition of Russian ground forces to the aerial assaults by Russian warplanes particularly threatens to undermine Turkey’s Syria policy, which aims for the establishment of a “safe zone” along the Turkish border giving the excuse that some Syrian refugees could return in the future. The reality is that the borders after Russia’s assault became the terrorists hideout which was done in order to bring Turkey’s defense against Russia. As Russia moved aggressively to strengthen their ally, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, to fight a range of insurgents, the rules of engagement had to change where Russia began to seek the terrorists regardless if they were in Syria or Turkey. The situation between Russia and Turkey is that Turkey-backed Islamist groups which is also backed by the United States fighting Assad’s regime have emerged as a main beneficiary of such rules of engagement, which have effectively served as a Turkish air cover for their military and logistical operations in border regions.
Taleb Ibrahim, a Syrian analyst living in Syria corresponded with Shoebat.com to reveal that:
Al-Nusra terror front alongside Jaish Al-Fateh, the terrorist groups that wants to oust Assad, in their attempts to take cover from Russian jets moved their troops to the Turkish-Syrian borders at areas like Tal Al-Abyad and other border villages, which the borders cut through, so that half of a village is in Syrian territory while the other half is in Turkish territory. The Russian jets had no choice but to cross the Turkish borders near Yayladagi, in Hatay province in the Turkish section as they tracked the terrorists using sophisticated surveillance equipment to detect their locations in Turkish territory. Russia does not hesitate to bomb terrorists regardless if they are in Syria or if they are in Turkey”
The situation becomes alarming since Turkey is locked on its position to shoot down Russian jets, while Russia is locked into its position to chase terrorists even if they flee inside Turkish territory.
This also becomes sensitive politically since Turkey does not want to admit they harbor terrorists while to Russia, they do not want to admit that they intentionally entered Turkish airspace.
And this was not the only incident. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) issued a statement on Saturday saying that a Syrian air vehicle was “neutralized” by two F-16 fighter jets after the vehicle crossed into Turkish airspace without authorization.
Russia’s anger with Turkey has its reasons. In 2012, Turkey intercepted and then grounded at Ankara airport a Syrian aircraft en route from Moscow to Damascus, saying it was carrying Russian military equipment bound for Syria. The incident upset Russia. And in June 2012, after a Turkish reconnaissance plane was shot down by an air defense system in Syria, Ankara announced new rules of engagement, including the interception of Syrian aircraft flying close to Turkish airspace. There has been no indication so far that these rules of engagement have changed. Since the summer of 2012, Turkish media have occasionally reported incidents of Turkish fighter jets taking off from their bases to chase off Syrian planes and helicopters flying “too close” to the border.
But now such incidents would have the Caliphate-minded Turkey’s Erdogan dare to confront a crusader superpower: Russia’s Putin.
Turkey in turn summoned the Russian ambassador in Ankara and “strongly protested” demanding that “any such violation not be repeated, otherwise Russia “will be responsible for any undesired incident that may occur.”
Turkey is taking advantage of the incident politically and had Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu call his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov to convey Ankara’s unease while western and regional countries including Saudi Arabia and Turkey on Friday expressed in a joint declaration on Friday “deep concern” over Russian military build-up in Syria.
But all this will not deflect Putin’s crusader inspired determination in destroying Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s intent in spreading Islamism into Syria.
So now Sinirlioglu who realizes that the Turkish leopard who is no match to the Russian bear, held telephone talks with counterparts from the bald eagle and the young lions: the United States, France, Italy and Britain and was due to speak with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to discuss the situation. Representatives of Nato’s 28 member states will meet later to discuss the incursion into Turkey.