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Russia-Turkey "warplane incident" shows intensified "conflicts of interests"

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

11-26-2015 16:04 BJT

By Han Xudong, National Defense University

The Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24 warplane over Syria near the Turkish border on Nov. 24. Even though a specific reason for the warplane downing has not been confirmed yet, one point is clear: It was shot down by Ankara.

Since Russia and Turkey have not entered a state of war against each other, the incident marked a turning point in which conflicts between both countries have reached an "intolerable" point. The "warplane incident" has exposed certain truths about "Middle-East conflicts."

 

The immediate cause given was that Russia's airstrikes on Syria have threatened Turkey's strategic interests.

Since Russia's airstrikes on "Islam States"(IS) extremism in Syria started on Sept. 30, IS forces have suffered tremendous losses. However, Syria's opposition party and ethnic Turkmen supported by Turkey were also obliterated by Russia's airstrikes and the Assad regime has revived, which weakens Turkey's influence over Syria.

These factors are intolerable for Ankara. Hence, they adopted the extreme measure to shoot down Russian warplanes at the expense of worsening bilateral relations and to warn Moscow to restrain itself.

If Russia's airstrikes had not threatened Turkey's interests, Ankara would never have taken this extreme step, even if Russian warplanes "occasionally" violated Turkish airspace before.

It had interfered with the visions of US-led Western countries to prevail in the Middle East. Whether Russia violated Turkish airspace or not, after the downing NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) member countries basically accused Moscow of airspace violations in unison without finding out the truth.

The air raids conducted by Russian warplanes on ISIS in Syria have affected NATO, and more seriously Washington's interests in the Middle East. Turkey appears to be rebuking air raids conducted by Russian warplanes on ISIS.

On Nov. 20 with unanimous support, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to condemn the terrorist attack by ISIS in the strongest possible terms, and called on the international community to "take all necessary measures" to fight against terrorism.

Russian airstrikes are acting in accordance with the UN resolution. Ankara would not object to Russian airstrikes in opposition to the resolution. Accordingly, NATO stands in full support for Turkey.

Between the choice of attacking ISIS and protecting its interest, NATO and the US care more about itself. It is just a tool for Western countries, including the US, to realize their own benefits by attacking ISIS too.

The West has given overwhelming support for Turkey over the Russian warplane downing. The Russian air strikes have propped up the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, and Western nations are not happy about that.

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

 

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