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The Downing of Su-24, a Curse on Erdogan and His Allies

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In the aftermath of the downing of the Su-24 by two Turkish F-16s, Turkey absolutely without doubt miscalculated on shooting down the Russian jet fighter as  Ankara thinks the act would preserve a “safe status” for Turkey from terrorist attacks by ISIS, others by being anti-Russian, beside that Turkey wanted to change the strategic scenery seen at the G20 meeting the week before because of the growing effort by France to join Russia as  Ankara sees the French-Russian effort encroaching on Turkey’s perceived area of influence with a total rejection of all extremists types.

There is an Arab proverb which states that no one can hold more than one watermelon in one hand. This is the case with the Turkish government nowadays and the issue of its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. These watermelons are different in sizes and weight. The lighter in weight is the Kurdish fighters led by the (HDP) and their ally northwest Syria.

The second in weight is their involvement in the Iraqi affairs by sending their troops to Northern parts of Iraq which led to a crisis between both the Turkish and Iraqi governments that forced the American government to ask Erdogan to pull out his troops from northern Iraq immediately.

The third in weight is the Turkish involvement in the Syrian affairs by supporting the extremists with arms and by facilitating their funding processes.

President Vladimir Putin wants to take revenge for this downing of the Su-24 after Erdogan rejected the 3 conditions  set by the Russian government to apologize and provide compensation, and welcomed co-chairman of pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas in the Russian capital Moscow. Russian foreign minister Segei Lavrov said on that meeting: “We know that there are Iraqi and Syrian Kurds among those who on the ground resisting the threat from Daesh and other extremist groups with weapons in their hand.”

Demirtas said he realises his visit to Moscow comes at a critical time when relations between Turkey and Russia are at a “critical stage”, reiterating that  the shooting down of the Russian jet was “not a right move”, adding that  the crisis should not be allowed to hurt the Turkish and Russian people.

Turkey is passing through a dark tunnel

What has happened is very critical to all countries in the region. After years of war a solution exists that satisfies all domestic, regional and international actors in Syria; that would lead to a peaceful transition government out of the vacuum and violence that marked the conflict in that war torn country with free elections that all the Syrian people can choose the next leader.

Turkey is going in a dark tunnel and soon it will implode. Unless Turkish President Recep Erdogan with a big official delegation heads to Moscow, Turkey will not survive 2016. The real destination for him should be Moscow rather than any other capital, especially after the rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the execution of Nimr Al Nimr, a Shiia Cleric

The shoot down of a Russian Su-24 jet by Turkey has not only led to a new fracture in the fight against Daesh but also exposes a triad of dishonesty that will echo through the MENA region.  Ankara miscalculated that the attack on the Russian jet would break the French-Russian discussion for a broader coalition.   Instead, Erdogan’s 17 second decision blew Turkey’s NATO standing and perhaps its relations with the EU as well.  Let’s not forget that Turkey is a major migrant transit point towards Europe.  Paris knows this fact all too well now with over one hundred dead.


Writes: Shehab Al Makahleh