21:06 GMT25 September 2020
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    NATO's defense of Turkey, after it shot down a Russian jet which was fighting terrorism, is testament to the fear in the alliance that Moscow's involvement in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria will lead to the discovery of Turkey's links to the terrorist organization, the German press wrote on Wednesday.

    The NATO alliance sees the Russian campaign to defeat terrorism in Syria as an unwelcome development because it reveals the extent of its collaboration with the terrorists, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) wrote on Wednesday.

    "NATO is extremely nervous, because it has realized that in the event of a Russian victory in Syria, the truth about the relationship between NATO member Turkey and the Islamic State will come to light," wrote DWN.

    Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber jet over Syrian airspace on Tuesday, where its pilots were carrying out antiterrorism operations against the Islamic State. One pilot died as a result of the attack, and the second surviving pilot is currently at an air base in Syria.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin called the attack on the plane and pilots a "stab in the back committed by accomplices of terrorism." This damning accusation of Turkey, which has been a NATO member since 1952, articulated what makes the NATO alliance so nervous: that Russian and Iranian support for the Syrian government's campaign against terror will eventually reveal the extent of cooperation between the West and terrorists in the region.

    While Russia is building alliances with Iran, Iraq, and China to tackle terrorism, and sharing information with Israel, the NATO alliance's best friends in the region are two governments which provide support for the Islamic State, highlights DWN.

    "It will also become clear that with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the West's only allies in the region, are two Islamist governments."  

    "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cynically misused refugees as pawns for his ambitions," writes DWN, pointing out that in contrast to its support for the Islamic State, the Turkish government conducts "a completely disproportionate war" against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, "which brutally attacks Kurdish civilians."

    The accomplices are nervous: NATO fears Putin's clear line against terror.

    ​"If the refugees can return there (to Syria), Erdogan's bargaining chip for his extortion is suddenly missing. It is clear who in this conflict has an interest in escalation."

    "Erdogan can blackmail the totally incompetent EU and totally overstretched German Chancellor – by demanding billions in protection money for the refugees … Erdogan wants three billion euros from European taxpayers for the refugees," points out the newspaper. This leads to the question of what would happen to the EU's money – there is evidence of Turkish officials buying oil from the Islamic State.

    "All these prospects justify, from the viewpoint of the Erdogan government and its intelligence agencies, the shooting of a Russian jet. They chose escalation, because they have their backs to the wall."


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