Shooting down of Russian warplane not surprising

After creating new disorder in Syria, Russia has been showing disregard for Turkish sovereignty; this is an unacceptable situation for Turkey and Russia knows it very well

Shooting down of Russian warplane not surprising

Mohammad Pervez Bilgrami - India

The incident of shooting down of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 warplane by Turkish F-16 fighters is obviously a culmination of numerous reported violations of Turkish airspace by Russian fighter jets operating from Syrian territory to prop up Bashar Assad.

There has been a mischievously dangerous escalation in Russia's continuing confrontation with NATO in Eastern Europe and Syria. Along with its international power projection, Moscow has intensified its support for Iranian and Assad militias in the Middle East.

Russians are furiously bombing Syrian cities, neighborhoods and villages where the Assad regime does not enjoy popular support. That means Russia is prepared to lay waste to most of Syria, working alongside Iranians and Assad’s militias.

After creating new disorder in Syria, Russia has been showing disregard for Turkish sovereignty. This is an unacceptable situation for Turkey and Russia knows it very well.

After the downing of the warplane, both countries have presented their own versions of radar data and voice recordings. The Turkish authorities say that two Russian fighter aircraft were warned after violating Turkish airspace. One plane changed course and left for its Syrian base while the other did not heed the repeated warnings and was shot down near Yayladagi, Hatay, as per the rules of engagement in force since 2012.

On the contrary, Russia claims that its Su-24 did not cross into the Turkish airspace and was, therefore, hit on the Syrian side of the border.

Why has Vladimir Putin ordered his military to conduct dangerous missions near Turkish border? After all, it’s the Russians who have inserted themselves into the Syrian conflict under a number of spurious pretexts.

Russia cannot act as it pleases. There are rules and norms. What Russia is doing in Syria is not only in violation of international laws but also absolutely irresponsible. Russia is fuelling the war and creating an even bigger humanitarian catastrophe than the one we have seen.

Turkey's response to Russian incursion on its border with Syria is an expected move, considering its rules of engagement and also its repeated diplomatic warnings against previous Russian violations of Turkish airspace. Turkey has not allowed any intrusion of its airspace on the Syrian border since the inception of the Syrian civil war. It is clearly understood by all that the Turkish Air Force would engage with any foreign aircraft deemed a threat. Looking at the Russian-Syrian provocations, one cannot argue that the approaching Su-24 fighter jet should have been treated like a little cute bird.

A Syrian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter and a Mig-23 fighter bomber were destroyed in two separate incidents after they had entered into Turkish airspace and ignored the warnings to retreat.

It appears that there may be more to Turkey's shooting down action than the mere response to border incursion by the Russians. It is an apparent warning to foreign military jets that they should stop inserting themselves into the Syrian airspace in their power projection and war-mongering games.

You cannot send your warplanes from thousands of miles away to bomb Syrian people who are already under a massive brutal assault led by a criminal regime.

Of course, it would be too much to expect from these unscrupulous powers to respect Turkey’s sensitivities in its backyard.

The fact on the ground clearly explains that the Russians are using their so-called “anti-ISIL” operations to bomb the rebel fighters who are fighting against both -- the Russian stooge Assad regime and the ISIL. Contrary to Russian claims, there are no ISIL forces near that portion of the Syrian-Turkish border, and that the Su-24 was most likely engaged in Russian attacks against the Turkmen brigade fighting Assad’s militia.

Russians have been deaf to all criticism of their bombing of the Free Syrian Army and other moderate groups fighting Assad’s militia.

Though it was the first time a Russian fighter plane was shot down by a rival military in decades, the incident should not come as a surprise considering the situation prevailing in Syria.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Kasım 2015, 12:16
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