icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Turkey’s ‘shoot down policy’ likely backed by NATO & US

Annie Machon
Annie Machon
is a former intel­li­gence officer for MI5, the UK Secur­ity Ser­vice, who resigned in the late 1990s to blow the whistle on the spies’ incom­pet­ence and crimes with her ex-partner, David Shayler.
is a former intel­li­gence officer for MI5, the UK Secur­ity Ser­vice, who resigned in the late 1990s to blow the whistle on the spies’ incom­pet­ence and crimes with her ex-partner, David Shayler.
The Russian Su-24 jet was shot down way too quickly to believe Turkey did not have prior authorization to do so from NATO and ultimately the US, annoyed by the effectiveness of Moscow’s campaign in Syria, former MI5 officer Annie Machon told RT

RT:Turkey speaks of a violation of its airspace, something Russia denies. But even if the violation took place, we are talking about 17 seconds, is that reason enough to bring down the plane?

Annie Machon: Absolutely not. In fact only in 2012 the Turkish general command said of course that sometimes these very short violations can happen because the jets move so fast and the borders can be all over the place. Of course this can happen. This isn't an excuse to shoot down an ally’s jet.

And in fact Turkey as well ... has a record, I think over the last few years, of 114 incursions into Greek air space. They never get shot down. It is just a fact of life. You got fast jets. They are going to move around very quickly. And to take an order to shoot down a jet like that very quickly as well will be highly suspect.

RT:The Turkish President says they’d act in exactly the same way again if their airspace is violated. What impact do such statements have, given the tension between Moscow and Ankara?

AM: Indeed, it can only get worse I think. Now one has to wonder why Turkey took this action. And there has been speculation that the decision to have a shoot down policy [was] taken a few days ago by the Turkish Prime Minister.

Now they would not take that risk of destabilizing a highly inflammatory situation, politically anyway, unless they had the backing of their NATO ally. So one has to wonder what incentives perhaps Washington might have offered to Turkey to allow them to go ahead with this.

Now one possible theory would be if Turkey does this to a Russian plane then it must be tempting Russia to retaliate in some way. Once that happens, NATO, including the Americans, the UK and most of Europe, would have the pretext to take heavier action against Russia. So it is sort of like this proxy action between NATO and Russia. Now we all assume that Russia would not do anything drastic in the face of this unwarranted provocation.

RT: In 2012 Turkey's President said that such violations are no reason to shoot planes down. So why did Ankara act as it did? Is there something more behind the scenes?

AM: I would assume there is a lot more behind the scenes. One of the possibilities would be that the Russian intervention to take on not just ISIS but all the other extremist groups, terrorist groups in Syria is too effective. I mean they are capturing great swathes of land, they are giving great support for the Assad regime.

We know that America particularly still wants to topple the Assad regime, partly because of the strategic interest of its allies in the Middle East – Saudi Arabia and Qatar – who want to impose a very radical Islamic State across that region. Once that were done, then Qatar could build a pipeline from its country through to Europe and try to take away some of the gas and energy trade that Russia currently has with Europe.

So geopolitically it is in America’s interest, as well as NATO’s, to try and halt and destabilize what Russia is very effectively doing against our global terrorist enemies such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda who are operating in Syria.

LISTEN MORE:

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts