"Something US presidents conscientiously avoided through 45 years of Cold War – a military clash with Moscow – could become a real possibility. Does the White House see what is unfolding here?" he asked. "Was the US government aware Turkey might attack Russian planes? Did we give Erdogan a green light to shoot them down?"
Ankara claimed that the aircraft had violated its airspace, although it was shot down over Syrian territory. Russian officials and the Su-24 pilot, who survived the crash, insist that the plane did not cross into Turkey. Moreover, the crew, according to the pilot, did not receive any warning prior to the attack.
Buchanan believes that the alleged airspace violation was used as a pretext. The real reason for downing the Russian warplane has more to do with geopolitics.
Incidentally, Syrian Turkmen militants were the ones who fired at the Su-24 pilots while they were descending to the ground. One of them was killed.
Turkey has overtly supported rebel groups, who are seeking to change the regime in Syria, to the point when it has become evident that Ankara, as Buchanan put it, "is on the rebel-jihadist side."
"As of today, Putin supports U.S.-French attacks on ISIS. But if we follow the Turks and begin aiding the rebels who are attacking the Syrian army, we could find ourselves eyeball to eyeball in a confrontation with Russia, where our NATO allies will be nowhere to be found. Has anyone thought this through?" the analyst lamented.