Barely three days have passed since the Turkish military shot down an older Russian Su-24 Fencer strike fighter, which fell four kilometers from the border inside Syria. Perhaps aware that Turkey's economy is about to get hammered by both declared and undeclared Russian retaliation, Ankara announced Wednesday that it didn't know the nationality of the aircraft it targeted before it was brought down. This backpedaling and sweating on the Turks' part has continued through Thanksgiving Thursday in America as Erdogan declared that if the Turkish military had known that the jet was Russian, it may have acted differently (a story that Vladimir Putin in his press conference with Francois Hollande of France today in Moscow wasn't buying, and neither was his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov). https://twitter.com/NinaByzantina/status/669979717332701184
In an interview with CNN Erdogan refused to apologize, saying Turkish pilots fulfilled their duties. The CNN interviewer did not ask him if Russian servicemen would be fulfilling theirs should they blow one of Erdogan's F-16s out of the sky the next time they violate Syrian or Iraqi air space. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his country would not wage war against Turkey, but would seriously reconsider all agreements. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev backed up those words with more warnings that Turkey's business with Russia would suffer as Turkish media confirmed scores if not hundreds of trucks with Turkish produce and products were backed up at the Russian border with Georgia, not being permitted to enter the country by customs officials.
Researcher Joseph P. Farrell PhD talks about the reasons given by the Russians as to why the Turks are lying about the shootdown of the Su-24
Turkey has released an audio recording allegedly warning an 'unidentified aircraft' that it was approaching Turkish air space, though whether the story that these warnings were recorded by an anonymous Lebanese airline pilot or are simply a Turkish/NATO fabrication is a fair question. Much like the products of the Ukrainian Security Service the SBU's released 'intercepts of GRU/FSB talking to Russian backed rebels after #MH17 was shot down', there is no way to independently verify the authenticity of the recordings. No Russian pilot response can be heard on what has been released, and even if the recordings are real the Turks' warnings may have been issued on the wrong frequency.
Turkish Lies and Turkey's CIA Aided #ProxyWar with Russia
The rescued navigator of the Russian Su-24 who watched his pilot Oleg Peshkov get riddled with bullets by Turkish-armed and abetted jihadists under a parachute canopy (a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, despite the State Department's pathetic attempts to avoid discussing it) says the Turks are lying. Captain Konstantin Murakhtin also said after returning to the Latakia air base if the Turks were acting in good faith, they could've escorted his plane out of their air space or fired warning shots.
Russian Su-24 pilot and combat medic who died in the effort to recover the body of Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov and rescue Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin
Wikileaks bolsters Moscow's claim that the Turks are lying and has produced a letter allegedly produced by the Turkish government to the United Nations Security Council admitting the Russian jet may have only violated Turkey's air space for 17 seconds. Wikileaks also says the Turkish claims about warnings do not add up with their own alleged telemetry of the Russian jet's flight path.
Evidence of Turkish Treachery and a Premeditated Shoot Down, from Multiple Independent Sources (Including Some Turks)
ANNA News video -- the Abkaz news service has been accused of working with Russian military intelligence or GRU. In this video they explain how the Turkish air force ambush of the Su-24 was carried out and how many different teams the Turks had waiting to film it on the ground
The most damning evidence that the Turks are lying about only reacting to repeated Russian violations of their air space rather than a premeditated act of treachery is the video footage itself. How did a Turkish camera crew end up in perfect position to record the downing of the Russian jet on Tuesday? As one UK based journalist tweets below, it's not so easy to be at the right place at the right time with one's cameras pointed in the right direction in a conflict zone. A gaggle of 'trolls' attempt to make excuses for the Turks, but this Lindsey Hilsum is not exactly buying their story:
In short, as V said in his Guerrilla Report Tuesday morning, the inescapable conclusion is that the Turks are lying, and that they planned this. The Russian Su-24 may've passed over a sliver of Turkish territory for a matter of seconds, but regardless it was ambushed by a Turkish F-16 that fired a U.S. made (likely AIM-9 Sidewinder) missile. The Russian Defense Ministry maintains that the Turkish Vipers that shot at the Su-24 actually flew into Syrian air space, and quickly retreated back into Turkey after descending from about 7,000 feet (thus implying that the Turks feared Russian pursuit/retribution).
One Russian marine sent to rescue the downed aviators was killed when the chopper he was riding in was hit by ground fire. The missile that was used to blow up the damaged Mi-8 chopper after it was abandoned by the Russians was a U.S. (CIA) supplied TOW ATGM, once again reminding the world of Washington's support for jihadist fighters and Turkey's Turkomen proxies in particular, who are synonymous with Jabhat al-Nusra aka Al-Qaeda. One of whose fighters recenly thanked Saudi Arabia for providing the TOW missiles (made in America by defense contractor Raytheon).
What @EliotHiggins, #JihadiJulian Roepcke and others who love to tweet out 'TOW porn' of Syrian soldiers getting hit by TOWs haven't realized yet is what will happen if Russia starts supplying the Kurds including the PKK active in northern Iran with its own Kornet ATGMs. If Syrian soldiers can die in their tanks on Syrian soil, Turkish and Saudi soldiers can burn from Kornet hits on their armored vehicles inside their homelands too. After all, the Kurds and Houthis have a right to proactively defend themselves too, right Mr. State Department spokesman? Even if that defense entails 'hot pursuit' of their tormentors into Turkey or Saudi Arabia?
Disgusting State Dept. says Turkey's Turkomen jihadis had the right to 'defend themselves' by shooting up a Russian pilot under a parachute canopy
#DontMakeVladMad: Putin's press conference on Tuesday after meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah. It's interesting to note that Putin made his remarks accusing Turkey of stabbing Russia in the back, profiting from ISIS oil sales and being an accomplice to terrorism alongside Abdullah
Good Luck Ankara, If You Start a War With Russia You're On Your Own... and It Would Be Payback Time for the Greeks and Kurds
The Turks' attempt to unscramble the egg they've got on their faces was not only motivated by Russia blocking all food shipments from Turkey and suspending any new tour package sales for Turkish resorts to Russian citizens. This will cost the Turks billions, even before a possible 'technical interruption' of Russian gas supplies ahead of winter. There's also the growing risk for Ankara that it's going to be told 'you're on your own' in the event Russia chooses an asymmetric economic, rather than anticipated tit for tat military response, that can be exploited as a NATO pretext for war.
It appears that even Washington and the most hawkish and anti-Russian members of NATO may not be able to silence criticism from other members of the 28 member U.S.-dominated Atlantic alliance who believe the Turks acted recklessly. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Ankara's representative to NATO also faced severe questioning in a behind closed doors emergency session of the U.S.-led alliance, requested by the Turks themselves. Not only their age old enemies the Greeks, but the Germans and French are likely furious with Erdogan and his Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who decided to take the credit (and heat) for the decision to shoot down the aircraft.
Of course a PM deciding to shoot down the Russian plane cannot be reconciled with the Turks own admission to the UN that the Russian jet was in their air space for 17 seconds. So either Mr. Davutoglu ordered the Russian jet shot down while it was still over Syria -- an act of aggression -- or he's lying. Either way, the political consequences from Russian retaliation against Turkey's weak and faltering economy will fall on Mr. Davutoglu, whom some Turkish Islamists love to point out is of Jewish origin. Perhaps Davutoglu is getting ready to resign and become the 'fall guy', should the blow back from this provocation against Russia get too painful for Mr. Erdogan.
Recall that the Russia Analyst has been predicting that the Turkish government as a whole will be blamed for the incredible rise of the Islamic State, as there is far less Turkish than Saudi and Qatari money sloshing around Washington D.C. Furthermore, members of the U.S. military are not stupid -- all 'conspiracy theory' and 'Kremlin agitprop' sneers aside, U.S. pilots, soldiers and Marines can read a map of ISIS/Jabhat al-Nusra logistics flowing right up the Euphrates valley to Turkey. Anybody in the military who is 'awake' and informed knows that at the very least Obama's campaign against ISIS has been half-assed and America's NATO ally is turning a blind eye to Daesh.
According to Zerohedge, the Pentagon's official spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren sought to distance the U.S. from the Turkish provocation against the Russians on Tuesday, though Warren was quick to blame the Russian Air Force for an alleged lack of 'professionalism':
In not so many words, Warren explained 'not our problem', pointing out the Russian jet shootdown is "a Russia-Turkey issue," and that US was not ionvolved. He then quickly moved on to the propaganda section of the briefing, explaining how "sloppy, uncaring" Russia was "exaggerating" its achievements in Syria.
Warren basically tried to have it both ways, emphasizing U.S. support for the Turks and backing up their claim to have warned the Russian jet 10 times before it was shot down. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's statement expressing 'solidarity' with Turkey were similar, though more vague. President Barack Obama, in his press conference, declared that states have a right to defend their territory and air space.
Obama's body language and facial expressions when delivering these points were notably tired if not depressive. The Russia Analyst's Washington D.C. source who watched the statements of Erdogan and Davutoglu shown on Turkish and international television said the same about their body language conveying that they'd screwed up badly and knew it.
Barry, your own Pentagon partially blamed the Turks for shooting down a Russian jet that was inside Syrian air space and posed no threat to Turkey
Of course, Obama was not asked how many times U.S. aircraft have flown inside Syrian air space with only the tacit consent, but not the legal agreement, with the government in Damascus Washington and its allies still recognize as legitimate. What the mainstream media including Fox News (and idiot talk radio hosts like Mark Levin) that rushed to repeat the Turkish claim as true didn't say is whether such warnings came after or long before a Russian aircraft entered Turkish air space...or were made over five minutes while the Su-24 was still well inside northern Syria, where the wreckage was found.
Turkish Hypocrisy on Greek Air Space and Weak NATO/MSM Lying on Their Behalf
Col. Steve Warren and Fox News certainly aren't going to inform the American public that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan complained about the Syrian shoot down of a Turkish jet in 2012 that had violated Syria's air space. Nor will the NATO propaganda admit Turkey's unilaterally declared 'safe zone' in northern Syria with strict rules of engagement within five miles of Turkish territory has no basis in international law.
CNN Turkey, Turkish and GCC controlled media flog Turkey's (probably fake) radar track of the Russian Su-24 and meaningless (or faked) audio warnings that the Russians say they never heard
Certainly, if the roles were reversed and the Russians started targeting Turkish jets that violated Syrian air space for a few seconds while following GPS signals along a winding, mountainous border, Ankara would be screaming for NATO to recognize an attack on its jet as an attack on all under the NATO Washington Treaty's Article 5.
S300/400 Su30 'Pucker Factor' for the Turkish Air Force, Which Reportedly Suspended Flights Along the Syrian Border After the Shoot down
Then there's also the small matter, as pointed out by Greek and Cypriot tweeters hours after the Su-24 was ambushed, that Turkey routinely violates air space Greece claims as its own every week, without any hostilities erupting when Greek jets occasionally escort the Turks over the disputed waters of the Aegean Sea. Turkey has occupied northern Cyprus for 42 years and since that area is occupied territory under international law, in the very unlikely event of a Russian-Turkish war Moscow could bomb the hell out of the Turkish garrison on the island and invite the Greeks to take it back. NATO's Article V would not apply (though no doubt U.S./NATO shills would insist Article V would still protect Turkish warships defending/supplying the Turkish troops occupying N Cyprus).
Russian Su-24 navigator Captain Konstantin Murakhtin: we received no warning from the Turks before they ambushed us, and we did not fly into their air space. He also says that his combat crew had flown over the same area before and he knows it 'like the back of my hand', dismissing U.S. claims of 'unprofessionalism', and implying even if the crew's Glonass GPS had been jammed they would've been able to avoid flying into Turkey
Turkey has also deliberately violated Syrian and Iraqi air space with impunity in the weeks prior to Russia's intervention in Syria, in order to bomb the Kurds whom Washington claims to be supporting as part of the anti-ISIS coalition. Even prior to its air force showing up at Latakia, Russia could've easily supplied even older model S-300 systems to the Syrians to blow Turkish F-16s out of the sky over the Euphrates, but resisted doing so to demonstrate Turkstream bargaining goodwill and other economic ties (with Iran's gas output limited, Turkey gets by some estimates over HALF of its natural gas from Russia). Now the days of Turkish impunity for flying into Syria, along with easy access for the Israeli Air Force, are over.
After initially denying reports that the cutting edge S-400 air defense system had been deployed to Latakia last week, on Wednesday Moscow's Defense Ministry confirmed that it has deployed the long range and deadly SAMs -- along with bolstering Russia's naval SAM capabilities from the guided missile cruiser Moskva off Syria's coast. We'll just have to wait and see if the Russian retort to Col. Steve Warren -- if they shoot down a Turkish F-16 or two -- will be to allege a 'lack of professionalism' by the U.S. trained Turkish pilots...
- *WARREN SAYS RUSSIA EXAGGERATED SAYING IT DESTROYED 500 TRUCKS
- *WARREN SAYS NO U.S. PERSONNEL IN AREA WHERE RUSSIA JET DOWNED
- *WARREN SAYS RUSSIAN PLANE DIDN'T RESPOND TO TURKISH WARNINGS
- *WARREN SAYS RUSSIAN MILITARY STRIKES ARE `SLOPPY,' UNCARING
- *WARREN CITES REPORTS OF HIGH CIVILIAN CASUALTIES FROM RUSSIA
Warren says it can confirm that the Turks warned the Russian plane 10 times before shooting down the jet.
He said they were working to establish exactly where the plane was when it was shot down.
Read Between the Pentagon's Blurred Lines -- There is Serious Infighting Going on in Washington Over Syria
Reading between the lines of Warren's briefing as Zerohedge attempted to do, it's easy to see the frustration of a butt hurt Pentagon brass unable and unwilling to acknowledge that Russia has struck ISIS oil tankers and other targets that the U.S. air campaign left untouched, nominally to spare civilian lives and Syrian infrastructure (ha ha) controlled by Daesh. But there is also anger among some of the more hard line Cold Warriors in the Defense Department that Russia has preempted a U.S. or Turkish no fly zone over northern Syria with one of its own. If the 'safe zone' Erdogan proposes to carve out near Turkey's borders is to exist, the smart Pentagon brass understand either Turkish or U.S./UK pilots will have to risk getting shot down by Russia's S-400/300 systems to impose it.
Officially sending a message to the Turkish Air Force: Russian Defense Ministry video of S400 deployment at Latakia
Sure Israel you're just gonna fly wherever you want inside Syria despite your F-16s and F-15s getting radar painted by S300/400 batteries
Even if the U.S. unilaterally declares a no fly zone (unlikely on President Obama's watch, but maybe Obama can be blackmailed or threatened into doing it) and dares Russia to shoot at its planes -- Turkey's military would STILL have to provide the soldiers to secure it from SAA/Iranian Hezbollah attack. Neither the U.S. nor any another NATO military would do it, and Obama might even face another revolt of his Joint Chiefs like he had in August/September 2013 when he threatened a direct U.S. attack on Damascus. The pathetic performance of the Saudi/Qatari/UAE militaries in Yemen pretty much rules out bringing them in as 'Sunni' forces like former Vice President Dan Quayle proposed to Fox Business Neil Cavuto last week. The Turks' and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) proxies are getting their butts handed to them by the SAA and Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, there is little stomach even among the Republican super hawks to surge U.S. troops into all but the most secure Kurdish parts of Syria. The idiot GOP presidential candidates plus Hillary Clinton still claim that the U.S. merely needs to provide air cover and the 'moderate Sunni' jihadis can do the rest. But the timing of the Turkish shootdown of the Russian jet suggests Ankara is getting desperate and understands its proxies including the Turkomen who are led by Turkish citizens if not MIT intelligence operatives are getting crushed (the dead man walking killer of the parachuting Russian pilot has been identified as a member of the fascist paramilitary group the Grey Wolves, aka NATO's Turkish Gladio franchise).
Was This Personal, Obama Sending a Message to Humiliate Putin? Or Was This a Deep State Attack to Scuttle a French-Russian Alliance vs. ISIS?
A spokesman for the Turkish opposition forces says Erdogan's government planned to shoot down a Russian plane for some time. The Russia Analyst's energy industry consultant source in Washington believes that Obama personally gave Erdogan the green light for this provocation during face to face meetings at the G20 summit in Antalya. The motivation, according to my source, is not much more than avenging Obama's sense of personal humiliation at the hands of Putin's robust intervention in Syria and the Narcissist in Chief's feelings of having been 'punked' by Vlad.
We think our source may be over-personalizing the Cold War 2.0 conflict, but he was adamant that there is no well thought out or secret Muslim Brotherhood solidarity with Turkey strategy to Obama green-lighting a Turkish shoot down of a Russian aircraft. We agreed during our phone conversation Tuesday night that this was the desperate act of flailing, failing politicians and the 'humanitarian interventionists' led by National Security Advisor Susan Rice and UN Ambassador Samantha Power, who want above all to see Putin fail in Syria.
The timing of the shoot down, with French President Francois Hollande's jet touching down in D.C. shortly before a White House meeting with Obama, was also calculated according to my source to humiliate Hollande. The French leader had, as we'll discuss in a follow up post to this one, called for an alliance with Russia against Daesh after the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. Hollande's government also announced that Bashir al-Assad was not France's adversary in Syria, the Islamic State is the enemy. Just days after Hollande's speech, members of Nicolas Sarkozy's party joined the Russia-friendly National Front of Marine le Pen in calling for the EU sanctions against Russia to expire.
#McInsane warns France against partnering with Putin against ISIS on the France24 TV channel - is Hollande Listening?
Paris post-Friday the 13th rapprochement with Moscow clearly infuriated Washington's Russia haters, with Sen. John McCain's interview with France24 TV a strong piece of visual evidence of such fury. Towards the end of his France24 interview when the reporter pressed him about a compromise with Assad, McCain nearly trembled with rage talking about 'the butcher Bashir' and 'Putin' than he did in describing the atrocities of Daesh.
If McCain is more than just an Arizona Senator but an acting proconsul for the American Empire stretching from Kiev to the Hindu Kush, then it makes sense that he and his globalist backers would be itching for an opportunity to 'kill Russians' in retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Scales words. Having largely failed to accomplish this task in the Donbass war due to Ukrainian military incompetence and an absence of sufficient Russian combat forces to target, attacking the Russian Air Force over Syria became the next best thing for the clique I refer to as 'the Deep State Dead Enders'. DSDEs are distinguished from more realistic members of the so-called American Deep State (DoD, FBI, CIA, NSA) who wish to maintaining U.S. hegemony, but aren't interested in taking the world to the brink of WWIII to do it.
The DSDEs are largely synonymous with, but not limited to, the hardline neoconservatives and Mr. and Missus McCain (South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham). As an example of what makes them so unpopular besides the Iraq and Libya debacles, nobody at the Pentagon or CIA actually wanted to personally sign off on directly giving MANPADs to the so-called 'Free Syrian Army' and watching those weapons fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Despite previous deliveries of Chinese FN-6 MANPADs to the jihadists via Pakistan and Qatar, Russian helicopter gunships continue to pummel both ISIS and the other jihadist gangs without a single loss except for the chopper that was trying to rescue the downed Russian aviators on Tuesday. McCain's evident disappointment with being unable to replicate the late 1980s mujaheddin Stingers campaign against the Russians means the DSDEs had to 'up the ante', and attack Russia through Turkey. As PolitRussia put it:
After the beginning of the Russian operation in Syria, the deranged patriotic part of the American elite, which prefers to plunge the world into a nuclear war in order to maintain global hegemony, demanded that Obama organize a no fly zone over at least part of Syria. This was demanded by McCain, Hillary Clinton and, most importantly, it was demanded by the main “brain” of influential American radicals, Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland).The most unintelligent of the representatives of the deranged part of the American elite, the senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, publicly stated that "without exaggerating," he would shoot down Russian planes in Syria if they threaten the forces that Washington supports.Moreover, literally just a few days ago Kagan demanded that the US create not only a no-fly zone over the Syrian-Turkish border, but also a “sanctuary” (safe-zone) for the “moderate opposition” while strengthening its American military contingent to 30-50,000 people.The programmatic article of Kagan published in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday caused a sharp negative reaction among the sane parts of the American political and military elite. Speaking frankly, no one wanted to die for the sake of “Kagan and his friends.” It is very likely that “Kagan and his friends”, having lost the opportunity to use the Pentagon as their own personal private military company, decided to switch to the traditional plan B - and this was using their Turkish puppets in the same style and format that they use their Kiev political puppets like Yatsenyuk and Dzhemilev [link added by the Russia Analyst - JWS]. The opinions and desires of Erdogan himself in this scheme generally don’t matter, although it is likely that he liked the idea of strengthening his position due to the consolidation of society against an external enemy. As for the radicals in the party of Erdogan, this idea was obviously accepted with a cheer.If the situation is seen from the point of view of Kagan and his allies, then the Turks were compelled to do what the US military didn’t want to. If we call things by their names, then Turkey was sacrificed.
Unfortunately for McInsane and his cohorts, it appears just like all their other schemes to provoke Putin into playing into their hands via an overreaction against the territory of a NATO member state, the DSDEs/neocons/neoliberal harpies (Rice, Power and Nuland's) latest stunt has backfired. The proof is in the statements coming out of not only the Pentagon trying to distance the U.S. from the Turkish downing of the Su-24, but also no fewer than FOUR retired U.S. generals of substantial standing either declaring the Turks acted in a provocative fashion OR are actively sponsoring ISIS.
Turkey and Erdogan, Here's the Bus, Get Ready to Get Thrown Under It -- The Pentagon Trots Out Retired Generals to Declare It's Apparently Had Enough of Your ISIS Crap
The initial 'don't blame us' statement coming out of the Pentagon versus the smug speech by Obama declaring that 'Turkey has the right to defend its territory' demonstrate the mistrust between the military and this White House. The leak to Reuters (and Israel's Jerusalem Post reporting) within hours of the shoot down that the Pentagon knew the Su-24 was hit while flying inside Syrian air space (even if it had flown into Turkey for a few seconds) proves that lots of people inside the Department of Defense were willing to undermine President Obama's 'Turkey was defending its territory' statements.
More evidence the Pentagon, DIA and perhaps some CIA/NSA analysts are leaking to undermine Obama's half-assed, phoney war vs. ISIS
Further evidence of the factional infighting within Washington can be seen in the relatively tepid response from the usual warmongering GOP presidential field to the Turkish action, with only Sen. Marco Rubio coming out strongly in favor of Ankara. The other candidates, perhaps fearing a moment caught on camera in which they will be confronted at an event in Iowa or New Hampshire about Erdogan's support for ISIS after shooting their mouths off, have kept relatively quiet about the Su-24 shoot down. Meanwhile, kicking off the chorus of retired generals slamming the Turks, The Hill published an article by retired USAF Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap Jr. titled "Russians May Have a Strong Case in Turkish Shootdown".
In a rare example of sanity emerging from a Beltway dominated in the past few years by warmongering from the fake humanitarian interventionist Left or the eternal Cold War waging Right alike, the retired Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer actually brings up international law (what a concept when applied to the U.S. and its allies) and asks:
Is a mere 17-second border incursion of such significance and scale as to justify as "proportional" the use of deadly force as the only recourse — particularly where there is no indication that the Russians were going to actually attack anything on Turkish soil?
The U.S., so far, is staying mum about what it may know about the precise location of the planes (which the Russians insist never entered Turkish airspace). What is more is that even if the Russians had penetrated Turkish airspace, that fact alone would not necessarily legally authorize the use of force, absent a showing of hostile intent (which the Turks are not alleging). Additionally, it is quite possible that the Russian aircraft may have penetrated Turkish airspace — if at all — because of a bona fide navigational misunderstanding occasioned by the satellite guidance system the Russians employ. Navigation errors are not an adequate reason to use deadly force.
In short, it appears at this point that the Turkish case justifying the use of deadly force is, at best, weak. Nevertheless, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO stands "in solidarity with Turkey." However, it may have been more prudent to withhold judgment until all the facts are definitively known and a full legal analysis is complete. Why? Article 5 of the NATO treaty governing self-defense tracks almost exactly with the Article 51 of the U.N. charter, so if the facts show illegality under international law, that would undercut the wisdom of NATO standing "in solidarity" with any nation.
Gen. Dunlap goes on to write for The Hill that with tensions high in the South China Sea, it is not to the Pentagon's advantage to promote itchy trigger fingers when planes are flying near borders, particularly with American reconnaissance planes and Chinese jets flying in close proximity to each other over what Beijing considers its territory.
The next thing we knew, other retired generals joined in the pile on against Turkey, declaring that Ankara has been playing a double game with the Islamic State. Interestingly enough, the Clintons' old Arkansas buddy from Bill's Rhodes Scholar days at Oxford, the former NATO Supreme Commander during the illegal 1999 Kosovo war against Serbia, Gen. Wesley Clark did just that:
Gen. Wesley Clark, the same former NATO commander who infamously told Democracy Now! several years ago that the neocons had a plan to take out the governments of seven Mideast countries (including Iraq, Libya and Syria) in five years, telling CNN that Erdogan has supported ISIS
As if that wasn't enough 'under the bus you go Erdogan' coming from the retired brass that the Pentagon typically uses to say what they cannot say themselves, retired Air Force Gen. Thomas McInerney, one of the architects of the Desert Storm bombing campaign against Iraq in 1991 and an outspoken critic of the Obama Administration's half-assed bombing of ISIS prior to the Russians showing up, has declared to Fox News that the Turks made 'a very bad mistake':
The icing on this cake of back channel Pentagon disdain openly expressed for Erdoğan if not the Turkish Deep State that planned the ambush of the Russian jet came courtesy of retired Maj. Gen. Paul L. Vallely. Now Maj. Gen. Vallely has said some pretty radical things in the last year or two, telling alternative and conservative talk radio hosts alike that President Obama could be overthrown in a military coup. Some in the alternative media have accused Vallely of links to the occult and even a Satanist guru who infiltrated the military. We don't know about that, but we do know that Vallely personally met with General Sisi in Egypt (Russia and the China's newest ally) and came out of that meeting blaming Obama for directly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists. The same MBO that may have been behind the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at Benghazi, and the same Ichwan that tried to impose a Takfirist dictatorship on Egyptians before the Egyptian army and a massive popular revolt threw them out.
In this case, the medium is the message: Maj. Gen. Vallely chose to go on RUSSIA TODAY aka Vlad the Bad's evil Kremlin propaganda channel RT to accuse Erdoğan of being a neo-Ottoman Islamist who is basically supporting the Islamic State out in the open. If I were Senator McInsane, I would be furious that Vallely is essentially thumbing his nose at the neocons who hate RT and the Russian government:
Conclusion: Turkey and its U.S. Deep State 'Dead Ender' Backers Are Being Defeated on the Battlfield By the Combined Syrian/Russian/Iranian Offensive --and At Least Some Elements of the American Deep State are Piling on In Support of Putin's #TruthBomb ing
For all his bluster and arrogance, Erdogan has hesitated to directly deploy the Turkish army in an overt invasion of Syria, fearing not only casualties from Syrian/Hezbollah resistance but also the Kurdish fighters who are defeating what for the sake of accuracy we may designate 'combined Turkish/ISIS' forces. If Turkey wouldn't invade Syria prior to the Russian intervention, it certainly can't do it now when any armored columns it sends across the border can be massacred by Russian Su-24/25 tank busters and joint SAA/Russian long range rocket fire from Smerch cluster munitions.
To make matters worse for Ankara, as the Guerrilla mentioned in his Tuesday report, there are not only co-ethnic Turkomen and Chechen jihadists in the corner of northwestern Syria the Turks were trying to defend from Russian jets earlier this week, but also Central Asian and Uighur fighters that China sees as a threat. Small wonder then, after enraging the Russians by sucker punching their plane, then mutilating the body of their downed Su-24 pilot, Ankara's Turkomen proxies and the 'humanitarian' convoys that supply them were 'destroyed' according to Russian General-Major Igor Konashenkov.
#JihadiJulian is mad Russia reduced a Turkish 'aid convoy' that was likely carrying ammo and volunteer jihadis from Turkey into Syria to wreckage
On Wednesday massive Russian air and rocket fire attacks helped the SAA and Hezbollah advance to a strategic mountain top overlooking Turkish territory. Pro-Assad Twitter feeds also showed the burned and blasted bodies of Ankara's Turkomen jihadis killed by Syrian/Russian fire yesterday and today. The SAA and what Elijah J. Magnier reports is a growing contingent of Russian ground troops (likely from the Vladikavkaz-based 58th Army) manning modern TOW-resistant T-90 MBTs and Smerch/GRAD MLRS are now bringing under fire the al-Ghab plain highway that has been a lifeline to Turkey for Daesh and the 'moderate' Syrian jihadis alike.
The aftermath of a Turkish convoy inside Syria getting hit by a Russian air strike -- reportedly at least two Su-34 bombers with Su-30 escorts
How many intelligence officers of the Turkish MIT security services or Turkish citizen 'volunteers' have been among the hundreds of Turkomen jihadist KIA in the last 72 hours is unknown. But it's probably no accident that the Kurdish YPG that Ankara has bombed chose to release this week a video of two Daesh fighters being politely interrogated. Both admit that they receive support from Turkey and Saudi Arabia. One of the ISIS jihadis says Ankara also provided young intelligence officers and perhaps special forces to fight alongside Daesh. He says that the young Turks 'fought bravely' but the YPG were the toughest soldiers he'd faced, after battling the Iraqi Army. Slowly but surely President Putin's allegation that NATO member Turkey is an accomplice to terror -- in fact more than an accomplice, a direct participant:
Just as the Guerrilla said, Russia is going to roast Turkey economically...#BoycottTurkey #БойкотТурция is trending in the Russian language Internet...