The western media’s reporting of the shooting down of a Turkish jet over Syrian airspace and of Ankara’s reaction is ostensibly neutral and matter-of-factly. The Guaridan reports; that Ankara “has threatened Syria with retaliation for the shooting down of a military jet.” Implied is that this was an act of aggression on Syria’s part and, if we want it explicitly, we can read elsewhere that Turkey has stated that “its jet had unintentionally strayed into Syrian airspace while on patrol but had been shot down over international waters.”
Well, that seems fairly simple and the impending Turkish incursion into Syria would appear to have its justification. However, it is when we leave the gobbledegook mainstream media that we come closer to the real truth. All of its neighbours know that Syria, courtesy of Russia, has one of the most sophisticated air defence systems in the region and it would appear that “the Turkish fighter entered Syrian airspace uninvited and was shot down by an almost automatic air defence system.”
In other words, Turkey sacrificing one of its aircraft was intentional and it was for broader strategic reasons. Furthermore, while NATO might vocally support Turkey,Ankara’ strategic goals are not necessarily the same as those of the alliance and most certainly they are in conflict with those of the other main player in the region who is interested in the break up of Syria, Israel. Ultimately, this about access to the gas fields in that region of the Mediterranean Sea and the slicing of Syria has already begun. Moreover, while we might be in no doubt that NATO, Israel, Turkey, and the GCC states, with Saudi to the fore, all have a joint interest in ending Assad’s days in Damascus, we can be equally sure that in this regional great game, Turkey is already showing its hand.