Friday, January 17, 2020
Sharp-Journal > Explainers > What is Turkey ‘aiming at’ by downing Russia fighter jet?

What is Turkey ‘aiming at’ by downing Russia fighter jet?


The recent downing of a Russian fighter jet is an indirect call for war. Since the end of cold war, tension has not risen up to this level between supposed “trade partners” who may or have become estranged partners as a result of this occurrence. How and why this error came to pass are questions Recep Erdogan would have to answer.

It is in the public domain that Russia is always very conservative towards most western foreign policies. The decision to join the war in Syria by Russia was geared by the helplessness of embattled President Bashar al-Assad – who is also culpable in his country disarray, and the refusal of the United States to bring amicable solution to the war in Syria. Also, Turkey has not offered assistance military-wise apart from just accommodating refugees.

The decision of Turkey to shoot down Sukhoi Su-24 jet belonging to Russia with an “air-to-air missile” should be a concern to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). The formation of NATO was to checkmate the tendencies of the expired Soviet Union which begot Russia. Western countries of USA, Britain, France, Sweden, Norway, etc., dominate NATO of which Turkey is part of. So naturally, any diplomatic decision or military policy taken by Turkey may affect the relationship of Russia and other NATO member countries.

For a very long time, there have been no recorded direct provocation between a NATO member country and Russia, but with this incident, Turkey has propped up hatred and diplomatic unfriendliness with Russia that hitherto was having strain relationship with NATO, especially the United States, on foreign policies.

World War II was as a result of major diplomatic row, trade imbalance and differences on foreign policies among the USA, Japan, Germany, USSR, China, Britain and France, which led to a full blown war. But provocation like that of Turkey created the unnecessary war. For example, unprovoked attack of Pearl Harbour by Japan, invasion of Austria by Germany and threat to do same to Russia etc. were some of the little-little ingredients World War II became perfected.

Hence, at a period when the world is tired of daily bloodshed by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and other terror acts across the world. At a time when the peace of the world is but fragile, Turkey chooses to initiate embers of war by shooting down the Russian fighter jet on a mission. It is very cumbersome knowing why a sabotage of this magnitude is coming from Turkey?

In an ideal situation, being a border country, Turkey should have done more to assist in containing the war in Syria. But they exhibit a dispassionate attitude towards the ‘burning fire’ just because they are less concerned. Their non-involvement or less participation to resolving the crisis in Syria has caused them series of bombings responsible by ISIS. With the increase in sectional violence and allegiance of some Turks to ISIS, the war may have escalated to Turkey but Mr. Erdogan is considerably at ease with the consequences of his inaction.

Mr. Erdogan however, some months ago sent his fighter jets to bomb ISIS locations in Syria when a rocket missile was fired across border to Turkey by ISIS. It was a quick response without hesitation. So what does Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stand to gain by shooting down Russia fighter jet considering the mission of that pilot even if there was violation of country airspace?

Even if there was a crossover to the airspace of Turkey by Russia, there are diplomatic ways of settling military disputes which could have prevented the unfortunate incident. What is Turkey aiming at: war (World War III), hatred, diplomatic impasse, pride, sovereignty or what? It is very comical for a country whose peace is threatened by ISIS’ continuous popularity to have acted negatively aggressive towards another country that is helping to put an end to the bloodletting in Syria.

Credit should be given to Vladimir Putin for not over-reacting to this issue. Russia’s involvement in Syria is a unanimous decision between USA and other NATO countries to deal with ISIS though there are conflicts of interest and Russia seems to be domineering, however, defeating ISIS is still a cause that NATO is involved. So it is surprising that Turkey would react the way it did towards Russia. What is Turkey aiming at? And it is also cynical for President Obama to say that “Turkey has the right to defend itself” if their airspace was violated or invaded. Meanwhile, it was very clear to Turkey and the US that Russia fighter jets passing through Turkey to Syria is aiming at ISIS. Turkey should have been more responsible by even providing an airbase lending help to Russia but it chooses to be less concerned.

Syria is in total chaos today because of ISIS extremism coupled with other surrounding issues pointing at al-Assad, militia revolutionary groups and the United States. Having Russia to join this war at this time is a plus and a ‘surprise’ because of the conservative nature of Russia foreign policy except economic interest or territory is involved (Crimea forceful annexation).

Nevertheless, Russia deserves commendation in this war against ISIS in which the US was expected to take lead in cleaning the mess they created in Iraq which spread to Syria, instead, President Obama became ‘very’ passive about resolving the crisis. The US cannot exonerate itself from any outcome or consequence of Turkey/Russia military row.

If there is any outbreak of war (World War III), Turkey should be held responsible for the disturbance of world peace. America is also liable as an accomplice. America can help improve the peace of the world by their economic advantage and military prowess which is perhaps the best in the world. Unfortunately, Barack Obama became a subject of mockery in international discourse when Putin took the bold decision to fight ISIS and ultimately resolve the Syria crisis. People say what he could not achieved in 3 years, Putin did it in just 2 weeks. This is very demeaning. Mr. Obama can do better than his current foreign policy in Syria. The less involvement of Turkey to resolving the crisis in Syria poses great danger to Turkey. And if they don’t, Syria is just a stone thrown away from Turkey; they are not exempted from the consequence of this war.

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