14:09 GMT01 June 2020
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    Russian Su-24 Jet Downed Over Syria (276)

    Commenting on the Turkish military shoot down of a Russian Su-24 bomber jet in Syria, Turkish journalist Ergun Babahan said that Ankara will not be able to convince NATO to invoke its articles of collective defense, given that the Turkish military was the side which shot down a plane.

    Speaking with Sputnik, Babahan, the former editor-in-chief of the Sabah newspaper, emphasized that "in this incident Turkey is not the aggrieved party, and therefore it cannot count on Article 5 of the NATO Charter," which states that an attack on one ally shall be considered an attack on all allies. "Turkey is the side that shot down the plane. Therefore I do not think they will be able to push their plans through the NATO Council."

    The journalist noted that "it is well-known that Turkey has been trying in every way possible to prevent the northern-Syrian territories from falling into the hands of the Kurdish forces. With the help of Sunni opposition forces, Ankara is trying to create a border buffer around 100 km long."

    Babahan recalled that "the US and the EU have reacted coldly to Turkish plans for the creation of a no-fly zone in Syria. It's clear that they have no plans to send their own soldiers there. A no-fly zone in Syria would cost the West billions of dollars a month to enforce."

    "On the other hand," the journalist explained, "the Russian forces located in Syria are there on the request of the country's legitimate government, which is absolutely lawful from the point of view of international law. For this reason," Babahan noted, "the NATO Council will not act in favor of the creation of a no-fly zone in Syria, and will instead be likely to make further efforts to push Ankara toward a more constructive engagement with Moscow and Damascus."

    On Tuesday, shortly after the downing of the Russian Su-24M bomber jet over Syria near the Turkish border, Turkey requested an emergency meeting of the NATO Council in Brussels, to take place at 5 pm local time (4 pm GMT).

    NATO officials said that they were monitoring the situation closely, and are in close contact with the Turkish government.

    Commenting on the downed Russian plane, which he described as a "stab in the back," President Vladimir Putin said that the Su-24 was downed by an air-to-air missile from a Turkish fighter jet. The president added that the Russian aircraft was flying around a kilometer (0.6 miles) from the Turkish border when it was hit.

    Russian Su-24 Jet Downed Over Syria (276)


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