05:34 GMT +325 February 2017
    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to people gathered during a rally to commemorate the anniversary of the city's conquest by the Ottoman Turks, Istanbul, Turkey

    Sultan Erdogan's War on...Russia

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    Pepe Escobar
    Russian Su-24 Jet Downed Over Syria (274)

    Let's cut to the chase. The notion that Turkey's downing of a Russian Su-24 by a made in USA F-16 was carried out without either a green light or at least pre-arranged "support" from Washington invites suspension of disbelief.

    Turkey is a mere vassal state, the eastern arm of NATO, which is the European arm of the Pentagon. The Pentagon already issued a denial — which, considering their spectacular record of strategic failures cannot be taken at face value. Plausibly, this might have been a power play by the neocon generals who run the Pentagon, allied with the neocon-infested Obama administration.

    The privileged scenario though is of a vassal Turkey led by Sultan Erdogan risking a suicide mission out of its own, current, desperation.

    Here's Erdogan's warped reasoning in a nutshell. The Paris tragedy was a huge setback. France started discussing close military collaboration not within NATO, but with Russia. Washington's unstated aim was always to get NATO inside Syria. By having Turkey/NATO — clumsily, inside Syrian territory — attacking Russia, and provoking a harsh Russian response, Erdogan thought he could seduce NATO into Syria, under the pretext (Article 5) of defending Turkey.

    As Bay-of-Pigs dangerous as this may be, it has nothing to do with WWIII — as apocalyptic purveyors are braying. It revolves around whether a state which supports/finances/weaponizes the Salafi-jihadi nebulae is allowed to destroy the Russian jets that are turning its profitable assets into ashes.

    Married to the (Erdogan) Mob

    President Putin nailed it; it was "a shot in the back". Because all evidence is pointing towards an ambush: the F-16s might have been actually waiting for the Su-24s. With Turkish TV cameras available for maximum global impact.

    Two Su-24s were getting ready to strike a bunch of "moderate rebels". Ankara says they were Turkmen — which the Turks finance and weaponize. But there is just a small bunch of Turkmen in northern Syria.

    The Su-24s were actually after Chechens and Uzbeks — plus a few Uyghurs — smuggled in with fake Turkish passports (Chinese intel is also on it), all of these operating in tandem with a nasty bunch of Turkish Islamo-fascists. Most of these goons transit back and forth between the CIA-weaponized Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Jabhat al-Nusra. These were the goons who machine-gunned the Russian pilots as they parachuted down after the hit on the Su-24.

    The Su-24s posed absolutely no threat to Turkey. Turkish UN Ambassador Halit Cevik's letter to the Security Council is a joke; two Russian jets "warned 10 times in five minutes" to change direction, both flying "more than a mile" into Turkey for an interminable 17 seconds. The whole thing has already been amply debunked. Not to mention that Turkish — and NATO — planes "violate" the Syrian border all the time.

    Erdogan well knows how US neocons were livid with French President Francois Hollande after his "it's war" cry was followed by a drive to work together with Russia against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. 

    So the real target was not a Su-24, but the evolving possibility, after the Paris attacks, of a real coalition — the US, Britain and France on one side, the "4+1" (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq plus Hezbollah) on the other side — finally converging their interests into a unified fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

    Where would that leave Ankara, which for years has invested heavily in the Salafi-jihadi nebulae, from Jabhat al-Nusra to Ahrar al-Sham and myriad other outfits, culminating with aiding and abetting and even funding ISIS/ISIL/Daesh?

    Turkey, for all practical purposes, has been a handy, sprawling Salafi-jihadi Infrastructure and Logistics Center; it offers everything from porous borders enabling countless jihadi return tickets from Syria to Europe, facilitated by corrupt police, to a convenient crossroads for all kinds of smuggling and a hefty money laundering ops.

    So Ankara, with a missile, thought it might completely change the narrative. 

    Hardly. Just follow the money. Even in the US and Europe the Turkish game is becoming increasingly transparent. A research paper at Columbia University details at least a fraction of the multiple instances of collusion between Turkey and ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. 

    Bilal Erdogan, the Sultan's son, is a major profiteer of illegal trading of stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil. Imagine his terror after Putin revealed to G-20 leaders in Antalya — Turkish territory! — how Russian intel has identified most of the mobster maze of connections pointing directly to ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

    Imagine mobster/Turkish commodity dealer sentiment at the prospect of losing their cut with the impossibility of buying Syrian stolen oil to the tune of $50 million a month. After all the Russian Air Force had already destroyed oil farms, refineries and most of all over 1,000 tanker trucks — and counting; imagine the prospect of losing all the oil flow, the money flow, a Smugglers Inc. scattered in the desert with no place to go.

    And we Also Do Extortion

    NATO command may be stand-up comic material — just watch Dr. Strangelove's Greatest Hits, as in Gen. Philip Breedlove and his "Russian aggression" meme. But the generals are not foolish. NATO won't go to war with Russia over a mere vassal. And Russia won't provide NATO with a pretext for war.

    In the Big Power Politics arena, certainly now we do have the post-modern return of the historic tension between the Russian and Ottoman empires. But that will play over time, slowly. The Russian direct response will be cold, calculated, extensive, swift — and most of all unexpected. No response would imply a carte blanche for "moderate rebels" to be weaponized in Syria ad infinitum.

    What's certain is that Russia will turbo-charge the bombing of all ISIS/ISIL/Daesh supply corridors from Turkey into northern Syria, as well as the stolen oil smuggling routes from northern Syria into Turkey.

    Russia can play with so many options to increase the pressure. For instance, S-300 and S-400 air defense systems covering the Turkish-Syrian border. That would be part of a Russian no-fly zone in Syria, approved by Damascus, for any jet daring to fly without explicit permission from the government. The Sultan wouldn't dare "violate" this airspace. 

    Erdogan's desperate gambit reveals that the last thing Ankara wants is a Vienna-conducted peace process in Syria. "Assad must go" is non-negotiable — for an array of geopolitical reasons (neo-Ottomanism), political (the need for a Sunni-dominated, pliant, Syrian satrapy) and economic (the proposed Qatar gas pipeline traversing Syria all the way to Turkey.)

    And the whole thing is about to get hotter. Not only a Turkish mobster maze is aiding, abetting and profiting handsomely from doing business with ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and other exponents of Jihad Inc.; Ankara itself is in the extortion business. And the willing "victim" is — who else — Europe.   

    German chancellor Angela Merkel had to go to Ankara to kiss the Sultan's feet so she may be able to "save" her refugee policy. Erdogan came up with the proverbial offer you can't refuse. You want me to hold the refugees here? Just give me 3 billion euros. Unfreeze Turkey's accession dossier to the EU (guess who's the top nation against it: France). And let me have my "safe zone" in the Turkish-Syria border.

    Incredible as it may seem, Europe gave in. The European Commission (EC) has just given Erdogan the 3 billion euros. He starts getting the cash on January 1, 2016. The official spin is these funds are part of the "efforts to solve the migrant crisis." European Commission First-Vice President Frans Timmermans glowingly framed the so-called Turkey Refugee Facility as "providing support to further improve the daily lives and socio-economic conditions of Syrians seeking refuge in Turkey."

    Don't expect the EC to monitor how the cash will vanish in the mobster maze — or will be used to further weaponize "moderate rebels".

    Erdogan does not give a damn about refugees. What he wants is his "safe zone", not in Turkey, but 35 km deep in northern Syria, out of bounds for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), militias under Iranian command, Hezbollah forces and most of all the Russian Air Force. He wants his no-fly zone and he wants NATO to get it for him.

    Erdogan is on a mission from Allah — at least his version of Allah. The downing of the Su-24 is just the preamble. Get ready, because 2016 promises an even bigger bang.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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    • Сomment
    • avatar
      Well written and reasoned article.
    • avatar
      I believe that the Europe has allocated € 3 billion to Turkey to help her in her capacity as a logistics base for ISIS, what Turkey has already for some time.
      I do not think that this money goes to help the problem with refugees.
    • avatar
      Given the growing amount of public info into the Daesh/Turkish Mobster Maze and what the recent UNSC has to say about such dealings, the judicial screws will become the main weapon with which Russia gains its revenge. And yes, there's certainly coordination with events targeting Crimea, all run from the Outlaw US Empire. Short sell everything Turkish!
    • Todor Todorov
      This what I think of the globalists strategies www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq1jov_elGY
    • qvasko 15
      Even during its history turkey tried to expand as much as possible, it never became as powerful as russia has ever been....I oppose erdogan's both domestic and foreign policies....inside he is repressive, outside pro islamist
    • choticastile
      Arrividerci Turkey! Goodbye, goodbye, au revoir! All your evil plans have come to nothing! Merkel will be bald by January, pulling her hair, unless she can cancel the €3 billion! Then interestingly -- the last place Syrian refugees will now want to continue to be -- is in Turkey! Anyways, Russia is doing such a good job in Syria -- that they've already started returning home by the crore... You're a tragic joke Erdogan -- ! Thank you Pepe Escobar!
    • avatar
      Lucas T Rech
      He is in his search to the kingdom of Erdoganistan
    • Congratulations to the Neocons and their Patsies, for fastracking their defeat in Syria and so to contribute to eurasien Integration.

      Thanks to the digital Revolution more and more people see now what "The Empire of Chaos", in Mr. Escobars words, stands for. Excellence in murder and terror.

      Syria will be protected in no time through the most sophisticated airdefense on this planet, in addition Russia with support of its allies will put every effort in defeating ISIS in the near future.
    • avatar
      George Bush, after the invasion of Iraq and the disintegration of the Sunni Iraqi government, soon realized the USA army has put into operation the Shia Islam people (allied with Iran) to replace Saddam Husain and govern Iraq. Obviously, he did this because of his already accepted ignorance about this part of the world. Sunni kingdoms (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, etc), Egypt, Turkey and Libya, with exception of Libya, have multibillions contracts going on. France and the UK have also multibillions contracts with these Sunny countries.

      Syria was the only non-Sunny country whose constitution preserves freedom of religions, although the country has a majority of Sunni population. The dominant political party is the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and President Assad is a member of this party and he is member of a branch of Shia muslin.

      See now, why USA, France, and the UK are involved in Syria. Multibillions contracts are already been talked for the reconstruction of Syria in addition to the multibillions contracts of weaponry that will follow with all of these sunny countries. Who, therefore, will benefit from this crazy conglomerate of affairs? All the western countries will benefit as well as the EU, Israel, and indeed Saudi Arabia.

      Syria will have a puppet government, the Russian will be expelled from Syria, Russia gas to Europe contracts will be closed, Israel will take ownership of the Golan hights, and Iran will be isolated and perhaps attacked by the imperialistic powers.

      The above is the big picture to be taken if the Russian are naïve diplomatically. The Russian is so hungry to be accepted as a normal member of the international community, that immediately Putin is called France our allied “in spite of” the blind obedience of Hollande to the USA by canceling the Mistral contract helicopter carriers. Putin must be aware of the treacherous and sneaky Hollande proposals

      As you can see, Cameron could not reply properly when he was asked, how an extra number of bombs (UK) could do a difference in Syria, when already the USA, the Turks, France and the Russian are bombing ISIS, 7/24. Cameron may reasons to involve the UK in Syria, is to have a portion of the Syria multibillions cake. As you can see the background of morality, the civil population, the murdering of innocent people, the barrel bombs, etc, etc., is just pure propaganda of those that want Russian fail in Syria, and Assad be removed, because he is an obstacle to their business plans.
    • avatar
      So NATO shot itself in the foot. Erdogan's escapade has given Moscow the excuse to introduce S-400's into the region and thereby a de-facto no-fly zone, just as NATO wants to increase their own so-called anti-ISIS bombing campaign. Duh. Right hand not talking to the left.
    • Selectric Typeball
      How does it help to make reckless allegations against NATO without any proof? There is no reason for NATO to shoot down a Russian warplane. This has to be a unilateral decision by Turkey, without pre-knowledge of NATO. If NATO or the US was behind this, then Obama would have offered Russia his condolences, not express public support for Turkey. I mean Western hypocrisy cuts to the very heart of life. Obama is more afraid of losing Turkey at the moment, than in upsetting Russia. That is a very bad move, but doing something that stupid and idiotic sort of proves that NATO and the US had nothing to do with this. Why make this into a World War, over an idiot mistake by Turkey?
    • avatar
      He wants his no-fly zone and he wants NATO to get it for him.
      I think Pepe is wrong about NATO, the military of the devil. NATO thnks it can defeat anyone in the world. They are insane with power and people had better start taking that threat seriously, however unpleasant it may be.
    • avatar
      Good article. Like it.
      As I understand: Germany is kissing Erdogan's feet.
      The Sultan is willing to stop the refugee flow (it was angel Angela who let them all come in) after being paid the ransom he demands, in cash!
      That is 1 Billion for his son, losing stolen oil-income;
      That is 1 Billion for his daughter, losing business when all terrorist have been sent by Russia to God awaiting a Paradise-trial) and last but not least 1 Billion for the Sultan himself for loosing popularity in his devine world and stolen oil-income.
      Correct, that makes 3 Billion.

      The people in Europe are still suffering from Austerity and silly Santions on Russia.
      Now they can see where their hard earned money is being throwned to: also Turkey.
      This stupid and insane EU who in my name is not only throwing money to a Blackmailer but also in my name trying to work up to a war with Russia and at the same time puting sanction on Russia, knowing that for the people in Europe Russia is NOT their enemy at all! US and NATO are, but not Russia.
      EU, what a bunch of sociopaths and money wasters.
      If there is a god may he protect the people of Europe against The EU Elites. But my impression at the moment is this God is busy looking the other way.
    • avatar
      dewatergeusin reply tod517(Show commentHide comment)
      d517, NATO is too late now. Russia is already chief of syrian airspace.
    • Dyke Davis
      I love you brother Pepe...but I just can't see Russia sitting back much longer and letting this kind of man-handling go on much long regardless of what he says to the international media and I really believe Putin knew this could and probably would happen; especially when he gave the evidence that directly links Turkey to ISIS stolen oil and gas, plus the wholesale atrocities clearly being ignored and even sanctioned by the Turkish-NATO-US axis that someone has to held accountable!
      Adding in the Ukraine and other pokes and you could have a real nasty bear-slap with a country like Saudi, Israel, Qatar or some other oil and gas station getting fried as a faking move before a direct hit on Turkey, which will have to isolate it from NATO and be authorized as payback...we're even.
      President Vladimir Putin is ex-KGB and I would not want anytime in the near future to be sitting on a commercial flight with anyone on the Turkish hit list anytime soon; especially with those nasty little S-300 sitting offshore and glaring outward from a base on the coast!
    • Dyke Davisin reply todewatergeus(Show commentHide comment)
      dewatergeus, Have faith my friend, because God let's evil manifest itself, so that hero's can get off their pouch and take on that which needs to be handled, yet too those hero's take time to plan their moves, because what would a hero do, if he killed the people he were about to or suppose to save?
    • avatar
      Brilliant writing - thank you.
    • avatar
      Pepe Escobar, are you 5th column?

      Вы пять коллона?
    • vitoivan66
      Pepe is spot on...Obama is surrounded with neocons who will defy his orders and Turkey is main culprit that ISIS got so strong.. the solution...show USA that you will not back down no matter what and those neocons will give up...as for Turkey ..obviously is somebody you can never trust..so be pragmatic and treat Turkey as it deserves ...a backward country that understands force only.
    • choticastilein reply tobertrandsushibarrussell(Show commentHide comment)
      bertrandsushibarrussell, What on earth made you ask him that??
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