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NATO Envoy Urges Turkey to Show Restraint After Downed Russian Jet

© AP Photo / Virginia MayoNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg listens to questions from journalists during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg listens to questions from journalists during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. - Sputnik International
NATO ambassadors have called on Ankara to show "cool-headedness", following an emergency meeting in Brussels after Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 jet near the Syrian border, diplomats told Reuters.

"There are other ways of dealing with these kinds of incidents," an unnamed source said.

Many of the 28 NATO envoys present at the meeting expressed concern that Turkey did not escort the Russian warplane out of its airspace.

But "With friends like Turkey, who needs enemies," asks Doug Bandow, senior research fellow at the Cato Institute. In an opinion piece written for The Japan Times, Bandow suggests:

"Turkey's rash decision to shoot down a Russian plane for allegedly violating its airspace isn't likely to trigger World War III. But Ankara demonstrated that it stands with the Islamic State and against the West."

Bandow suggests that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is "moving Turkey into a more Islamist direction… worse, his government has aided the Islamic State.

"Despite agreeing to assist Washington, the Erdogan government appears to have played the US, directing most of Turkey's fire against America's Kurdish allies."

According to Marcus Papadopolous, editor of Politics First magazine, Turkey has always been protected by the US, economically, politically and militarily because of its strategic geographical position.

"It has been able to get away with what is wants, as long as it remains the eyes and ears of the Middle East for the US," Papadopolous told Sputnik.

The downing of a Russia jet, according to Bandow is "a direct attack on Moscow for supporting the Assad government".

Indeed, in a recent interview with Sputnik, Marcus Papadopolous said Turkey had been buying oil from Islamic State oilfields in Syria to bolster ISIL's army:

"Why would Turkey buy and ISIL oil fields in Syria? Not because of its benefits — but because it enables the Turks to sustain the war against the Syrian government and army. Erdogan is an emphatic opponent of the Free Syrian Army and the Turkish government is using ISIL to fight them." 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and French President Francois Hollande. - Sputnik International
Hollande Flies to Moscow as France Takes Lead on Syria Talks
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande has traveled to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks on reaching a common ground to combat ISIL with combined airstrikes in Syria.

The shift in global foreign policy has arisen following the killing of 224 Russian holiday makers on a flight from Egypt and the terrorist attacks in Paris, which left 129 people dead. Both atrocities were claimed by Islamic State militants.

But the surge in support for ISIL is, according to Papadopolous, due to the actions by western governments in Iraq and Syria.

"Officially, the US, UK, France and Turkey say they want to fight ISIL. But the reality is, that if you take those countries out of the equation, there is no ISIL. It would never have emerged in Syria."

"The UK, France and Turkey were arming, training, and financing various Islamic groups in Syria to overthrow the Syrian government. When these groups had brotherly fallouts, they joined ISIL and took their money, weapons and training with them," Papadopolous told Sputnik.

The situation surrounding which countries are fighting ISIL and which countries are fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains complex and the current refugee crisis in Europe adds further complications.  

German chancellor Angela Merkel has offered Turkey billions of dollars in aid in return for the containment of refugees in the country to stop them from reaching northern Europe. In return, Turkey could officially join the European Union with visa restrictions lifted, allowing access to the EU's borderless Schengen zone.

Meanwhile, the British Prime Minister has told the House of Commons that the UK cannot afford to stand by and not join its European allies' military action in Syria.

"Every day we fail to act is a day ISIL grow stronger," Cameron said while Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, expressed a degree of cool-headedness himself.

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