The US-led coalition's recent provocation against the Russo-Syrian counter terrorism campaign has "put nothing but torpedoes into its own sinking international credibility," according to US columnist and managing editor for Veterans Today Jim W. Dean.
Dean stresses that the destruction of the ISIL oil tanker fleet, which NATO had been "somehow" unable to detect for over a year, has predictably prompted outrage from those who have long been benefitting from the illicit oil trade.
"We suspected the tanker-crushing move would make the people who had been marketing ISIL's oil, the Kurds and Turkey, unhappy enough to be provoked into a blunder themselves. We did not have to wait long, with the militarily-senseless shooting down of the Russian SU-24 bomber by the Turkish F-16s," Dean narrates in his recent article for New Eastern Outlook.
Turkish reports that they knew nothing about the origin of the Su-24 bomber jet sound completely unconvincing.
"Did they expect us to believe that their radar was not working, nor the US-coalition drones or spy satellites that monitor the Syria-Iraqi battlefield 24/7?" Dean asks with a trace of irony.
However, NATO with Secretary General Stoltenberg has supported Turkey. Still, there were a number of NATO envoys who expressed their concerns regarding the matter. They pointed to the fact that Turkey did not make attempts to escort the Russian bomber out of its airspace.
"They showed the Russian planes flying near the border, and the Turkish planes making their attack runs south, which actually took the Turks into Syria," Dean underscores.
The whole incident looks very fishy: the Turkish provocation has triggered justified suspicions among European lawmakers. Some of them have gone even so far as to blame Ankara for collaboration with ISIL, the US columnist notes.
Still, Turkey's provocation has not worked: the Kremlin immediately disavowed any hints of a military response, Dean emphasizes.
Instead, Russia has deployed its advanced S-400 Triumf air defense system with the capability of hitting targets at ranges of up to 400 kilometers to Hmeymim air base in Syria. Furthermore, Russia's Moskva 11,500-ton warship has reached the shores of Syria in order to ensure the security of Russian aircraft in the region.
Interestingly enough, the Turkish Hurriyet media outlet reported Friday that "the Turkish army has suspended flights over Syria as part of an ongoing joint military campaign with the United States against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after it shot down a Russian jetfighter."
"Turkey used its last 'freebie' by shooting the Russian plane down. There will be no Western coalition no-fly zone in northern Syria, for which some Senators and presidential candidate crazies were trying to get headlines advocating; at least not the kind they wanted," Dean points out.
Now, Russia can create a "defensive bubble" over Syria. Moscow does not want to do this, he notes, but it has been forced to. Russia has repeatedly made attempts to form a real coalition with Western countries and their partners in order to smash ISIL, but the West turned a deaf ear to its proposal.
"Erdogan's mistake in shooting the bomber down has waived the green flag for Putin to bring in enough fighter power for the Syrian coalition to initiate a no-fly zone on any uninvited airstrikes anywhere inside Syrian if attacks on Russian planes were continue," the US columnist emphasizes.