Editorial: Don't Let Fighting Words Become International Fisticuffs
The downing of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 by Turkish forces on the Syrian/Turkish border has given the "War on ISIS" a totally different complexion.
As we warned some six weeks ago, the possibility of an international incident dramatically increased with the Russian Federation’s entry into the fight against the Islamic State. The worst eventuality became a nightmare reality when a Turkish F-16 engaged a Russian jet in response to an airspace violation, bringing the Russian fighter to the ground four kilometres into Syrian territory.
In a press conference addressing the shoot-down, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, declared the act to be a "stab in the back that will have serious consequences for Russia's relationship with Turkey." Putin then went on to label the Turkish armed forces as "accomplices of terrorists". This prompted similarly belligerent rhetoric from Turkey's ambassador to the United States, who tweeted: "Understand this: Turkey is a country whose warnings should be taken seriously and listened to. Don't test Turkey's patience. Try to win its friendship."
Since Russia’s first bombing raid at the start of October, an airborne force of some 90 aircraft has purportedly neutralised more than 500 Islamic State (IS) targets. In a direct assault on the pocket book of the Wahhabi junta, Russia has claimed to have destroyed more than a thousand oil tanker trucks in the last week, equating to roughly $4.6 million-worth of black market merchandise.
As discussed last week, the way to defeat IS is to reduce their bank balance to zero. As NATO prepares for an extraordinary meeting in Brussels to discuss its response to an incursion into the territory of one of its members, cool heads should calm a situation that could swiftly deteriorate and erase the inroads created in the pursuit of the common goal….
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