by Vince Dhimos
For more details, see this story from Southfront.
A confrontation between Turkey and Russia occurred when Turkish troop, embedded with terrorists allied with Al-Qaeda, were fired upon by the Syrians in Idlib province (north-western Syria) and reportedly 33 Turkish soldiers were killed.
The Turkish government went whining to NATO complaining that, since Turkey is a NATO country, that alliance has the duty to protect it. Erdoğan also brashly stated – perhaps more for his constituents at home than for the world – that Turkey had defeated Russia before and could do so again.
The problem is, the confrontation did not involve NATO. It was bilateral. Turkey and Russia had agreed to keep the peace in Idlib but Turkey’s terrorist pals violated the rules of a de-escalation zone and at that point, Syria counter-attacked with Russian air support and killed some Turkish soldiers who were up to no good, embedded with terrorists. Sneaky Turkey pretended that it was the Russians who violated the de-escalation agreement and went sobbing to Uncle Sam via NATO. But the de-escalation agreement did not oblige the Russians to stand down if Syrians were attacked by violators of the agreement.
I suspect Erdoğan, being a conniver, had planned this all out from the start, instigating his terrorist pals, with Turkish regulars embedded amongst them, to attack the Syrians for the express purpose of starting a confrontation that they could blame on the Russians and prompt intervention by NATO. In the distant past, the Turks had always managed, in their confrontations with Russia, to secure European military intervention on their behalf. But that was then. Apparently Erdoğan has not noticed that Russia is now a nuclear power that is off limits to the US and its alliance. This shows what a knuckle-dragger Erdoğan is. How he could have imagined that the US-led alliance would get involved in a military confrontation with Russia is beyond me.
Russia and Syria will continue to defend the integrity of Syria. Russia keeps reminding Turkey that it intends to do that. Maybe Erdoğan will start paying attention now?
PS: Though I usually stick up for Putin, I must admit, I think he was naive to enter into an alliance with shifty Erdoğan. I could see this coming. On the other hand, Putin is always prepared for the worst and knows the power of his armed forces.