Headlines: 25th November 2015
‘President Barack Obama has expressed US support for Turkey after it shot down a Russian warplane near Syria-Turkey border, saying Ankara has the right to defend its airspace.
“Turkey, like every country, has a right to defend its territory and its airspace,” Obama said on Tuesday at the White House during joint press conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande.
“It is important right now to make sure the Russians and Turks are talking to each other to figure out what happened” and “discourage any kind of escalation,” the US president said.’
‘The Russian Air Force base in Latakia will be reinforced with S-400 SAM system, which will soon be deployed there, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.
“S-400 will be deployed on Khmeimim airbase in Syria,” Shoigu said at a Defense Ministry meeting.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian Su-24 was shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet near the Turkish-Syrian border. One pilot died in the incident. The second one was rescued and brought to the Russian airbase in Latakia.’
‘Turkey and the rebels it backs northern Syria had the right to defend themselves against Russian airstrikes, State Department spokesman told reporters. The rebels reportedly killed one Russian pilot who ejected from the jet hit by a Turkish missile.
During the regular press briefing, Mark Toner said the Syrian government did not have such a right, though.
When asked by RT’s Gayane Chichakyan if the State Department considered the rebels who reportedly killed the Russian pilots “moderates,” Toner replied:’
‘Some Turkish officials have ‘direct financial interest’ in the oil trade with the terrorist group Islamic State, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said as he detailed possible Russian retaliation to Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane in Syria on Tuesday.
“Turkey’s actions are de facto protection of Islamic State,” Medvedev said, calling the group formerly known as ISIS by its new name. “This is no surprise, considering the information we have about direct financial interest of some Turkish officials relating to the supply of oil products refined by plants controlled by ISIS.”
“The reckless and criminal actions of the Turkish authorities… have caused a dangerous escalation of relations between Russia and NATO, which cannot be justified by any interest, including protection of state borders,” Medvedev said.’
‘Turkey has cited airspace violations as its justification for shooting down a Russian Su-24 bomber on Tuesday. But only three years ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan specifically stated that such actions should “never be a pretext for an attack.”
In response to the downing of a Russian bomber by Turkish fighter jets on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that the military’s actions were justified.
“We did not want this situation to happen, but everybody has to respect Turkey’s right to defend its borders,” he told reporters, adding that the military’s actions were “fully in line with Turkey’s rules of engagement.”
Yet, three years ago, Erdogan had somewhat different thoughts on the matter.’
‘Turkey’s prime minister was caught shipping arms to ISIS in January, which may explain why the NATO ally shot down a Russian jet targeting ISIS militants on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered a media blackout after the military’s Gendarmerie General Command discovered around 50 rockets, 35 crates of ammunition, including mortar rounds, and Douchka anti-aircraft ammunition hidden inside Syria-bound trucks operated by Turkey’s intelligence agency.
“The trucks were carrying weapons and supplies to the al-Qaeda terror organization,” a report by the Gendarmerie General Command stated, and it’s worth noting that ISIS is linked to al-Qaeda.’
‘Yesterday’s international air incident which took place along the Syrian-Turkish border, is potentially the most dangerous geopolitical events to take place in living memory – an incident that is already quickly threatening to kill a number of peace treaties, as well as intensify an international situation that’s already beyond repair.
You’d expect a US leader to bring his A game. Instead, President Barack Obama did something astonishing at yesterday’s White House press conference with French leader Francois Hollande.
Rather than bother to appear as an honest broker and mediate the international incident (NATO’s last shoot-down of a Russian aircraft was in 1951), the he instead blamed Russia for Turkey shooting its fighter down and for its pilots being killed or captured by US/NATO/Turkey-backed militant Islamist insurgents camped along Syria’s northwest border with Turkey.’