Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Putin in Tehran: Strengthening of Russian-Iranian Alliance

Nikolai BOBKIN | 26.11.2015 | 08:00

Vladimir Putin has visited Iran for the first time in eight years. On Nov. 23 the Russian president gave a speech at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum summit (GECF) in Tehran. The idea to create the GECF originated with Ayatollah Khamenei, who in 2001 suggested that Tehran and Moscow establish an organization of gas cooperation like OPEC. The forum was legally founded in Moscow on Dec. 23, 2008, when the energy ministers of the member countries adopted the statute of the GECF – establishing it as an international association – and signed an intergovernmental agreement. 
The GECF’s main focus is on the development of the global gas market. But the gas forum’s member states are not overly concerned about the fact that some gas producers, such as the US, Canada, and Australia, are not part of this process. There are currently 12 countries that are members of the association, and another six that act as observers. Members of the GECF control 42% of the world’s gas production, 67% of gas reserves, 38% of the pipeline trade, and 85% of sales of liquefied natural gas. Expert predictions bear out the importance of the topics being discussed at the forum – they believe that global demand for natural gas will grow by 32% by 2040 – up to 4.9 trillion cubic meters, from 3.7 trillion cubic meters in 2014. It is important to Russia not to lose its market share, and Moscow is acting with this in mind, sitting at the negotiating table with its competitors and coming to civilized agreements.
In his address to the GECF, Russia’s president stated that valuable work is underway with his Asian partners, including China and India. The Russian head of state noted, “We plan to increase deliveries to Asia by 6-30%, up to 128 billion cubic meters.” Putin noted that the draft version of his country’s 2035 national energy strategy includes a significant boost in natural gas production – by 40%. In 2014 his country produced 578 billion cubic meters, but by 2035 it plans to produce 885 billion cubic meters.
Iran understands that it cannot compete with Russia in today’s gas market. Commenting on Tehran’s gas-export plans, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Iran’s minister of petroleum, admitted that his country does not have a trunk pipeline that could deliver natural gas to Europe. Thus, Iran is prepared to negotiate with other countries in order to work out a plan to ship Iranian gas to European consumers. Meanwhile, Zangeneh hopes that many companies from Russia will begin working Iran’s oil fields. The minister expressed similar ambitions for the gas sector. Cooperation with Russia will include the exchange of technological innovations in oil and gas production. 
Before the meeting between the heads of state attending the forum, Vladimir Putin met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The potential for the relationship between Moscow and Tehran is worrisome for many. Some countries approve of the idea of strategic cooperation between Russia and Iran on regional issues, while others see that as a threat to their own interests.
The prospect of sanctions being lifted has drawn the interest of almost all the world’s major countries, which have their eyes on the domestic market of this country with a population of almost 80 million. In addition, Iran has announced some very ambitious plans for many of its industrial sectors, and a total of over $90 billion is being invested in that country’s highest-priority investment projects. But this does not mean that the Islamic Republic is ready to open its doors to all comers. For example, for the US, as before, all roads to Iran remain closed. In September Ayatollah Khamenei stated that the Iranian government has not held any talks with Washington on issues not related to the Iran nuclear deal, and does not intend to do so in the future. American relations with Iran continue to operate under a “state of emergency” mentality. This year President Obama was forced to extend for one more year the US embargo introduced over 30 years ago. Both sides defend their positions.
But Iran’s leaders have other plans in mind for Russia. This could be seen at Putin’s meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei. Iran’s Supreme Leader rarely receives foreign heads of state, and when he does, that is an indicator of friendly bilateral relations. The conversation between the two leaders lasted longer than planned, more than an hour and a half. They particularly focused on the development of trade and economic cooperation, which still lags far behind the two countries’ blossoming political partnership. 
Trade between Russia and Iran totaled only $1.68 billion in 2014. And a mere 0.21% of Russia’s foreign trade in 2014 was conducted with Iran. Russia has invested no more than $12 million in Iran, and Iran only $5.5 million in Russia. And unfortunately no expansion of trade is expected by the end of 2015. This is despite the fact that last fall both parties reached agreement on joint projects worth about $70 billion. Tehran has requested that Iran be granted lines of credit to pay for Russian goods and services. It is possible that that issue was resolved during the meeting between the two leaders. That money for the most part would be used to finance the construction of the 3rd and 4th reactors at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. Loans are also needed if Russia is to build several thermal power plants in Iran, as well as to electrify the railroad in northern Iran, near the town of Gorgan.
As expected, the leaders of Iran and Russia were particularly focused on resolving the conflict in Syria, the joint fight against terrorism, and also military and technical cooperation. Every problem on that list is directly related to their strategic partnership and to the two countries’ willingness to work together on the national security issues that are of greatest importance to them. 
Russia’s air operation in Syria, supported by Iran on the ground, has already achieved its first objective. Back in September, the fall of Bashar al-Assad’s government seemed inevitable, but Damascus has stabilized its position and strengthened its control over much of the country. The process of finding a political solution has begun, and Iran is a full participant in that. The fact that the United States is no longer playing a dominant role in the resolution of the crisis in Syria, and that Russia is now returning to the Middle East, is fully compatible with Iran’s independent foreign policy. 
Russia and Iran have common interests in the fight against terrorism, not only in the near future, but also in the long term. Both countries want to boot the Islamic State (IS) off the Middle Eastern stage. The military cooperation between Moscow and Tehran aimed at achieving this goal has become an important factor in international relations. Just a few months ago it would have been hard to imagine that Iranian fighter jets would be escorting Russian strategic bombers across Iranian airspace, on their way to launch missile strikes against IS targets in Syria... 
But Moscow and Tehran are united by more than just Syria. The US and its allies would like to sever the Russian-Iranian alliance, but those hopes will be dashed. Even over the long term, Iran is unlikely to choose political rapprochement with the West at the expense of its relationship with Moscow.
Tags: Iran Middle East Russia Syria Khamenei Putin

"Russland handelt besonnen" Rainer Rupp

Rainer Rupp: Hasardeure in Ankara öffnen Büchse der Pandora

Rainer Rupp: Hasardeure in Ankara öffnen Büchse der Pandora
In einem exklusiven Gastbeitrag analysiert Rainer Rupp, vormals Top-Spion der DDR im NATO-Hauptquartier in Brüssel, die derzeitige geopolitische Lage nach dem Abschuss der russischen Su-24 durch das türkische Militär. Hat Erdogan die Entscheidung zum Abschuss ohne US-Rückendeckung treffen können? Und welche Rolle wird Deutschland als NATO-Bündnispartner und mit derzeit noch an der türkisch-syrischen Grenzen stationierten Patriot-Raketen spielen?  
Ein Gastbeitrag von Rainer Rupp
Am Freitag den 20. November hatte das türkische Außenministerium den russischen Botschafter in Ankara einbestellt, um ihn wegen der Angriffe der russischen Luftwaffe auf Terroristen in der umkämpften Bayirbucak-Region im Nordosten Syriens im Grenzgebiet zur Türkei heftig abzukanzeln.
In einer Protestnote forderte Ankara ultimativ ein sofortiges Ende der russischen Luftwaffenangriffe im grenznahen Gebiet, was einer No-Fly-Zone gleichkäme. Diese wird von der Türkei schon lange gefordert, aber selbst von den US-Amerikanern abgelehnt. Im Falle der Nichtbefolgung, so die Protestnote, habe Moskau mit "schwerwiegenden Konsequenzen" zu rechnen.
Tatsächlich schoss dann vier Tage später ein türkischer F-16 Jäger einen russischen Bomber vom Typ Su-24 genau über dieser Region ab, angeblich auf türkischer Seite der Grenze, was Moskau bestreitet und dafür auch objektive Beweise vorlegen will.
Mit dem Abschuss der Su-24 hat Ankara womöglich die Büchse der Pandora geöffnet. Das hat scheinbar auch die türkische Bevölkerung verstanden, wovon die Massenproteste in den türkischen Großstädten am Dienstag zeugten.
Aber hat Erdogan diese Entscheidung ohne Rückendeckung aus den USA getroffen? Die neokonservativen Kriegstreiber in den beiden großen US-Parteien haben mit großer Sorge verfolgt, wie sich in Folge der Flüchtlingskrise und der Terroranschläge in Paris die politische Lage in Europa wieder in Richtung verstärkter Zuwendung und Zusammenarbeit mit Russland verändert hat. Zu allem Überfluss schienen auch US-Außenminister Kerry und Präsident Obama auf diese Linie eingeschwenkt zu sein. Aus Sicht der um ihre Hegemonie fürchtenden US-Kriegstreiber im Kongress, im Pentagon und den Geheimdiensten musste eine solche Entwicklung unbedingt gestoppt werden und der SU-24-Abschuss hat das Zeug dazu.
Jetzt ist wichtig, dass alle Parteien besonnen handeln. Russland tut das und schickt seinen Außenminister Lawrow am Mittwoch nach Ankara. Zugleich darf Deutschland nicht in falsch verstandener Bündnistreue hinter den verantwortungslosen Abenteurern der Regierung des NATO-Landes Türkei stehen.
Artikel 5 der NATO-Charter bedeutet nicht automatische Beistandspflicht. Wenn zum Beispiel ein Mitgliedsland ein anderes Land zuerst angreift, dann kann es sich nicht unter dem NATO-Beistandsmantel verstecken.
Zugleich sollten schleunigst die deutschen Patriot-Raketen von der türkisch-syrischen Grenze abgezogen werden, damit deutsche Soldaten und die deutsche Politik nicht durch weitere gemeingefährliche Aktionen der Hasardeure in Ankara in Geiselhaft genommen werden.
Anmerkung der Redaktion am 24. November um 16.50 Uhr: Der russische Außenminister Sergej Lawrow hat mittlerweile bekannt gegeben, dass er seinen für Mittwoch geplanten Besuch in der Türkei aufgrund des Abschusses der Su-24 abgesagt hat.

"Turkey Provokes Russia with Shoot-down" By Robert Parry, Consortium News

Exclusive: Turkey appears to have deliberately shot down a Russian warplane as a provocation designed to escalate tensions between NATO and Russia, a ploy that seems to have sucked in President Obama as he tries to look tough against Russia to appease his neocon critics, writes Robert Parry. (Update: Russia says one airman saved.

President Barack Obama – always sensitive to neocon criticism that he’s “weak” – continues to edge the world closer to a nuclear confrontation with Russia as he talks tough and tolerates more provocations against Moscow, now including Turkey’s intentional shoot-down of a Russian warplane along the Turkish-Syrian border.
Rather than rebuke Turkey, a NATO member, for its reckless behavior – or express sympathy to the Russians – Obama instead asserted that “Turkey, like every country, has a right to defend its territory and its airspace.”
It was another one of Obama’s breathtaking moments of hypocrisy, since he has repeatedly violated the territorial integrity of various countries, including in Syria where he has authorized bombing without the government’s permission and has armed rebels fighting to overthrow Syria’s secular regime.
Obama’s comment on Turkey’s right to shoot down planes — made during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday — was jarring, too, because there was no suggestion that even if the SU-24 jetfighter had strayed briefly into Turkish territory, which the Russians deny, that it was threatening Turkish targets.
Russian President Vladimir Putin angrily called the Turkish attack a “stab in the back delivered by the accomplices of terrorists.” He warned of “serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations.”
Further provoking the Russians, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels then killed the Russian pilot riddling his body with bullets as he and the navigator parachuted from the doomed plane and were floating toward the ground. (Update: On Wednesday, the Russian defense minister said the navigator was alive and was rescued by Syrian and Russian special forces.)
Another Russian soldier was killed when a U.S.-supplied TOW missile brought down a Russian helicopter on a search-and-rescue mission, according to reports.
But Obama, during the news conference, seemed more interested in demonstrating his disdain for Putin, referring to him at one point by his last name only, without the usual use of a courtesy title, and demeaning the size of Putin’s coalition in helping Syria battle the jihadist rebels.
“We’ve got a coalition of 65 countries who have been active in pushing back against ISIL for quite some time,” Obama said, citing the involvement of countries around the world. “Russia right now is a coalition of two, Iran and Russia, supporting [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad.”
However, there have been doubts about the seriousness of Obama’s coalition, which includes Sunni countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which have been covertly supporting some of the jihadist elements, including Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its ally, Ahrar al-Sham.
Syrian rebels, including jihadists fighting with Ahrar al-Sham, have received hundreds of U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles, apparently through Sunni regional powers with what I’ve been told was Obama’s direct approval. The jihadists have celebrated their use of TOWs to kill tank crews of the Syrian army. Yet Obama talks about every country’s right to defend its territory.
Obama and the U.S. mainstream media also have pretended that the only terrorists that need to be fought in Syria are those belonging to the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh), but Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its ally, Ahrar al-Sham, which was founded in part by Al Qaeda veterans, make up the bulk of the Turkish-and-Saudi-backed Army of Conquest which was gaining ground – with the help of those American TOW missiles – until Russia intervened with air power at the request of Syrian President Assad in late September.
The SU-24 Shoot-down
As for the circumstances surrounding the Turkish shoot-down of the Russian SU-24, Turkey claimed to have radioed ten warnings over five minutes to the Russian pilots but without getting a response. However, the New York Times reported that a diplomat who attended a NATO meeting in which Turkey laid out its account said “the Russian SU-24 plane was over the Hatay region of Turkey for about 17 seconds when it was struck.”
How those two contradictory time frames matched up was not explained. However, if the 17-second time frame is correct, it appears that Turkey intended to shoot down a Russian plane – whether over its territory or not – to send a message that it would not permit Russia to continue attacking Turkish-backed rebels in Syria.
After shooting down the plane, Turkey sought an emergency NATO meeting to support its attack. Though some NATO members reportedly consider Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a loose cannon, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that the allies “stand in solidarity with Turkey.”
Further increasing the prospect of a dangerous escalation, NATO has been conducting large-scale military exercises near the Russian border in response to the Ukraine crisis.
Erdogan’s government also appears to have dabbled in dangerous provocations before, including the alleged role of Turkish intelligence in helping jihadist rebels stage a lethal sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013, with the goal of blaming Assad’s military and tricking Obama into launching punitive airstrikes that would have helped clear the way for a jihadist victory.
Obama only pulled back at the last minute amid doubts among U.S. intelligence analysts about who was responsible for the sarin attack. Later evidence pointed to a jihadist provocation with possible Turkish assistance, but the Obama administration has never formally retracted its allegations blaming Assad’s forces.
One motive for Erdogan to go along with the sarin “false flag” attack in 2013 would have been that his two-year campaign to overthrow the Assad government was sputtering, a situation similar to today with the Russian military intervention hammering jihadist positions and putting the Syrian army back on the offensive.
By shooting down a Russian plane and then rushing to NATO with demands for retaliation against Russia, Erdogan is arguably playing a similar game, trying to push the United States and European countries into a direct confrontation with Russia while also sabotaging Syrian peace talks in Vienna – all the better to advance his goal of violently ousting Assad from power.
The Neocon Agenda
Escalating tensions with Russia also plays into the hands of America’s neoconservatives who have viewed past cooperation between Putin and Obama as a threat to the neocon agenda of “regime change,” which began in Iraq in 2003 and was supposed to continue into Syria and Iran with the goal of removing governments deemed hostile to Israel.
After the sarin gas attack in 2013, the prospect for the U.S. bombing Syria and paving the way for Assad’s military defeat looked bright, but Putin and Obama cooperated to defuse the sarin gas crisis. The two teamed up again to advance negotiations to constrain Iran’s nuclear program – an impediment to neocon hopes for bombing Iran, too.
However, in late 2013 and early 2014, that promising Putin-Obama collaboration was blasted apart in Ukraine with American neocons playing key roles, including National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman, Sen. John McCain and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland.
The neocons targeted the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych, recognizing how sensitive Ukraine was to Russia. The Feb. 22, 2014 coup, which was spearheaded by neo-Nazis and other extreme Ukrainian nationalists, established a fiercely anti-Russian regime in Kiev and provoked what quickly took on the look of a new Cold War.
When the heavily ethnic Russian population of Crimea, which had voted overwhelmingly for Yanukovych, reacted to the coup by voting 96 percent to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia, the neocon-dominated U.S. mainstream media pronounced the referendum a “sham” and the secession a Russian “invasion.” Cold War hysteria followed.
However, in the nearly two years since the Ukraine coup, it has become increasingly clear that the new regime in Kiev is not the shining light that the neocons and the mainstream media pretended it was. It appears to be as corrupt as the old one, if not more so. Plus, living standards of average Ukrainians have plunged.
The recent flooding of Europe with Syrian refugees over the summer and this month’s Paris terror attacks by Islamic State jihadists also have forced European officials to take events in Syria more seriously, prompting a growing interest in a renewed cooperation with Russia’s Putin.
That did not sit well with ultranationalist Ukrainians angered at the reduced interest in the Ukraine crisis. These activists have forced their dispute with Russia back into the newspapers by destroying power lines supplying electricity to Crimea, throwing much of the peninsula into darkness. Their goal seems to be to ratchet up tensions again between Russia and the West.
Now, Turkey’s shoot-down of the SU-24 and the deliberate murder of the two Russian pilots *have driven another wedge between NATO countries and Russia, especially if President Obama and other NATO leaders continue taking Turkey’s side in the incident.
But the larger question – indeed the existential question – is whether Obama will continue bowing to neocon demands for tough talk against Putin even if doing so risks pushing tensions to a level that could spill over into a nuclear confrontation.
~ Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. 
* one was saved by Syrian forces in coop with Russia, but injured (blogger)
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Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. - Henry David Thoreau

Turkey Shoots Down More Than Just a Russian Jet

Finian CUNNINGHAM | 25.11.2015 | 19:58

Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian fighter jet this week was likely aimed at a bigger political target – to deal a blow to the proposal of a grand anti-terror coalition between the West and Russia for fighting the Islamic State extremist network in Syria. 
Such a coalition might seem reasonable, even desirable, to most people. But it is profoundly unacceptable, tacitly, to Washington because it would further expose the criminal nature of the Western-sponsored regime-change operation in Syria. 
Washington and its allies do not want Russia to participate in an effective military coalition that would accelerate the destruction of the mercenary terror army that the Western powers have covertly invested in. In that regard, French President Francois Hollande seems to have momentarily lost the devious plot by proposing such an alliance with Russia. 
On the face of it, Turkey’s attack on a Russian Su-24 appears to be a reckless act of aggression. And Washington has denied any involvement in the incident. But it seems significant that the shoot-down came on the same day that the American White House rebuffed France’s proposal of forming a military coalition with Russia against the Islamic State terror group in Syria. 
Ankara appears to be hiding behind pedantic arguments about «rules of engagement» and defence of its territory. Turkey claims that the Russian Su-24 entered its airspace for «17 seconds». However, its bombastic protestations and scampering under the skirts of NATO betray a dirty deed. 
The subsequent murder by Syrian Turkmen militants of one of the two Russian pilots as they parachuted to the ground – a gross war crime – has only compounded the anger felt by Moscow. The second pilot was reportedly rescued by Russian and Syrian special forces. 
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the attack as a «stab in the back» and said that there would be «grave consequences» for Turkey, without specifying what those consequences might be. In principle, Russia has the right under international law to take military action against the perpetrator. 
Already it can be gleaned that Ankara’s actions are incriminating. The Turk authorities claim that the Russian jet entered Turkey’s territory from across the border with Syria, and that their F-16 fighter jets fired an air-to-air missile following repeated audio warnings to the Russian aircrew. 
But how screwy is that rationale, even if we accept it at face value? Why should Turkey react in such an aggressive manner towards Russia over a fleeting error, if that’s what it was? There seems, rather, to have been a premeditated urge to act in this excessive way by the Turks. 
Russia’s defence ministry contradicts the Turk version, saying that its warplane was always within Syrian territory and did not pose any security threat. The fact that the Russian jet and the ejected pilots came down in Syrian territory indicates that Moscow’s account of the incident is closer to the truth. 
Moscow’s contention of how its fighter jet was brought down is also corroborated by the macabre way in which one of parachuted pilots was killed by militants inside Syria’s border, as reported by the New York Times. 
Moscow said that the fighter jet was «targeting Islamic State militants in the mountains of northern Latakia [in northwest Syria]». Turkey, the United States and other Western governments have been claiming that Russian air operations are mostly focused on striking «moderate rebels». If that latter claim were true then why was one of the two Russian pilots summarily 
executed by the militants on the ground if those militants were «moderate rebels»? Why were the militants seen in video footage, which they released, gloating over the bloodied corpse?
Ankara, Washington and their NATO allies can’t have it both ways. If Russia is targeting moderate rebels – assuming that such a category exists – then why was the Russian pilot butchered in such a barbaric manner akin to the Islamic State or one of its related extremist brigades?
In any case, let’s not get waylaid by engaging in semantical shell games. Turkey, as with its other NATO partners and the Gulf Arab states, has been fully sponsoring terrorist proxies in Syria under different names. The so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and its notional moderates are just a convenient propaganda device that has allowed the US and its allies to sponsor terrorist mercenaries in a criminal, covert war for regime change in Syria. 
President Putin, in his angry condemnation of Turkey’s shooting down of the Russian Su-24, avoided diplomatic niceties and bluntly labelled Ankara as a «terrorist accomplice». The Russian leader also accused Turkey of aiding terrorists in Syria by conducting oil trade with Islamic State militants who have commandeered Syria’s oil fields over the past two years. 
At the G20 summit earlier this month, held in Turkey’s Antalya, President Putin presented a dossier on financial links to jihadist terror groups. He said those links showed that «certain G20 members were implicated in the financing of terrorism». That was taken to indicate Turkey and Saudi Arabia, among others. 
At the G20 summit, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chimed in with other world leaders in denouncing IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) in light of the massacre in the French capital, Paris, where some 130 people were killed in gun and bomb attacks on November 13. 
The rank hypocrisy of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other G20 members in condemning «terrorism» did not escape Russia. The loss of 224 lives, mostly Russian tourists, on board an airliner that was blown out of the skies above the Sinai desert on October 31 from a terrorist bomb has only served to harden Moscow’s resolve to eradicate the terrorists in Syria and to expose the state sponsors behind these groups.
Russia’s aerial blitzkrieg against anti-government mercenaries in Syria – whether they go by the name of IS, FSA, al Nusra, Islamic Front, or some other cover name – has, since September 30, wiped out thousands of foreign-backed insurgents. Together with Syrian Arab Army ground advances, this Russian air campaign is liquidating assets that the US and its allies have invested billions of dollars in for regime change in Damascus. 
It is only a matter of time before the rhetorical shell game conducted by the terrorist sponsors comes unstuck. Washington, Ankara and the rest can’t just sit back and watch Russia destroying its proxy mercenary army. Their cynical exhortations to Russia to avoid striking «moderate rebels» are having no restraining effect, simply because there are no moderate rebels worth talking of Russia is zeroing in on the West’s terrorist proxy army, and rightly so no-holds are barred. 
In this context, the proposal of forming a military coalition with Russia is simply anathema, from the Western regime-change viewpoint. The idea had to be blown out of the sky. The shoot-down of the Russian jet by Turkey seems a symbolic repudiation of the proposed military alliance with Moscow. 
The Russian noose on the terror networks and, more importantly, their state financiers is tightening. The tension is becoming unbearable, and Ankara obviously kicked out with the shooting down of the Russian fighter jet this week. 
Washington reportedly denied any involvement in the incident, even though it has a plentiful military presence at the Incirlik NATO base in southwest Turkey, including F-15 air combat planes and sophisticated radar and communication systems. 
It seems unlikely that Turkey would have acted singlehandedly in such a provocative way and in such a precarious situation where NATO and Russia were already on tenterhooks over the close proximity of their respective warplanes plying the skies over Syria. 
Moreover, as President Putin pointed out, Russia and the US had recently signed an agreement ostensibly to avoid deconfliction of air forces in Syria. Turkey, as a fellow NATO member, would have been fully apprised of that agreement. So, how did such a deleterious lapse occur?
US President Barack Obama quickly upheld Turkey’s right to defend its territory, without having ascertained the facts surrounding the shoot-down. 
It is significant that following the incident Turkey immediately called for an emergency NATO summit to confer with the 27 other members of the US-led military alliance. If the shoot-down was simply a random act carried out in the spur of the moment, then why didn’t Ankara get in touch with Moscow to iron things out and express condolences? Instead, as Putin noted, the Turks ran off to NATO without even as much as a call to Moscow. 
The deadly attack against Russian forces occurred on the same day that French President Francois Hollande met with Barack Obama in Washington to discuss closer military cooperation with Russia in the supposed fight against Islamic State terrorism in Syria. 
Obama politely, but firmly, rebuffed the French leader’s proposal for a grand coalition that would include Russia. Hollande was waved off with an earful of platitudes. And Turkey’s shooting down of the Russian fighter jet – only hours before Hollande was received at the White House – appears to have been timed in order to emphatically put paid to any idea of working more closely with Moscow to combat terrorism in Syria. 
As noted above that rejection of Russia’s formidable anti-terror firepower is based on deep, covert and necessarily unspoken strategic reasons, owing to the real, imperative US-led objective in Syria. Namely regime-change and the deployment of terrorist networks for achieving that criminal objective.
Komplette Aussage Putins von gestern

Zum Abschuss der russischen SU 24 Dagmar Henn/ Putin

Bisher wirken die bundesdeutschen Medien etwas verstört; die Linie ist unklar, wenn auch (was nicht überrascht) mit einer leichten Tendenz in Richtung Türkei.
Es werden einzelne Aussagen aus der Stellungnahme Putins dazu übernommen, aber ganz spezifische Punkte nicht.
Wichtig an dieser Aussage waren folgende Punkte:
1. Das russische Flugzeug hat den syrischen Luftraum nicht verlassen und wurde über dem syrischen Luftraum abgeschossen, von zwei F-16 Kampfflugzeugen der Türkei (im Laufe des Vormittags hatte das russische Verteidigungsministerium noch erklärt, es ginge von einem Abschuss durch Boden-Luft-Raketen aus).
2. Es gibt eine Vereinbarung zwischen Russland und der NATO, die solche Zwischenfälle ausschließen soll.
3. Russland betrachtet diesen Abschuss als einen heimtückischen Angriff, der Terroristen decken soll.
4. Die Türkei unterstützt Daesh/ISIS.
5. Die russischen Angriffe zielten spezifisch auf eine Gruppe russischer Dschihadisten, die im turkmenischen Siedlungsgebiet aktiv sind.
6. Die türkische Regierung hat nicht zuerst den Kontakt mit Russland gesucht, wie das bei einem Versehen der Fall sein müsste, sondern sofort eine Sitzung der NATO einberufen.

Dass tschetschenische Terroristen in Syrien aktiv sind, ist bekannt. Es gab immer wieder Anläufe der Türkei, sich Gruppen von Turkvölkern gegen Russland zu Nutze zu machen, beispielsweise bei der Auseinandersetzung um die Krim, als die Nachricht kursierte, islamistische Terroristen sollten von der Türkei aus nach Sewastopol gebracht werden.
Putin hat in diesem Interview das erste Mal öffentlich benannt, wer mit Daesh/ISIS kooperiert. Und damit eigentlich (wenn die Kriegstreiber nicht so stark wären) die NATO unter Druck gesetzt, Erdogan an die Kandare zu nehmen.
Es stellt sich aber die Frage, ob die türkische Regierung eine solche Handlung ohne Rückendeckung der NATO oder insbesondere der USA unternimmt. Angeblich sei das russische Flugzeug fünf Mal gewarnt worden… in diesem Zeitraum könnten einige Telefonate stattgefunden haben. Wahrscheinlicher ist allerdings, dass diese Telefonate davor lagen und die Geschichte mit den fünf Warnungen erfunden ist.
Bei der Frage, ob es zu einer Verletzung des türkischen Luftraums kam, darf ebenfalls nicht vergessen werden, dass die Türkei seit 2012 einen Streifen von 5 km Breite innerhalb Syriens als “Sicherheitszone” behandelt (mit Billigung der NATO, versteht sich), die dem türkischen Luftraum zugeschlagen wird, obwohl es sich um syrisches Gebiet handelt. Näheres zu der Frage auf globalresearch.
Die BILD ist, wie immer, für Krieg – nicht einmal die Türkei behauptet, das russische Flugzeug hätte aggressive Absichten gehabt:
bild abschuss russisches flugzeug 24112015
Der Text auf wurde inzwischen durch eine “Analyse” aus dem Hauptstadtstudio ergänzt, die folgenden Satz beinhaltet: “Es gibt zwei, sich widersprechende Versionen, die derzeit nicht verifiziert werden können. Aber auf den ersten Blick scheint die türkische Version plausibler zu sein.”
Lawrow hat seinen für morgen geplanten Besuch in Ankara abgesagt.
Mit seiner Absage hat Lawrow zugleich russische Bürger vor Reisen in die Türkei gewarnt. Einer der größten Reiseveranstalter Russlands hat nach Angaben der BBC Reisen in die Türkei bereits aus dem Programm gestrichen.
Russische Touristen stellen beim Tourismus in die Türkei die zweitgrößte Gruppe:
Top 10 countries whose residents provided the most visits to Turkey (2012 est.)
Von US-amerikanischer Rückendeckung geht auch Rainer Rupp in seinem Kommentar bei RT deutsch aus. Und verknüpft den heutigen Vorfall mit der am Freitag übergebenen türkischen Protestnote, die eine Einstellung russischer Luftangriffe im Gebiet der Turkmenen forderte.
Ramsan Kadyrow hat sich auf Instagramm geäussert und der Türkei versprochen, sie würde “für eine sehr lange Zeit bereuen, was sie getan hat.”
Bisher fehlt jede Nachricht von den beiden russischen Piloten. Es kursieren diverse Videos, die nahelegen, dass sie beim Absprung aus der Maschine von den vermeintlich “moderaten Rebellen” erschossen wurden. Sollte sich das bestätigen, wäre das ein Kriegsverbrechen.
Und die obersten Kriegstreiber selbst haben sich mittlerweile auch zu Wort gemeldet – ein Sprecher der US-geführten “Anti-Terror-Koalition”, der amerikanische Oberst Steve Warren, bestätigt, es habe zehn Warnungen von türkischer Seite gegeben. Praktisch gefragt – so eine SU 24 fliegt ja nicht gerade mit 20 kmh, und das von der Türkei als “Beweis” vorgelegte Radarbild zeigt nicht gerade eine große Flugstrecke in türkischem Luftraum. Also entweder die Türken reden extrem schnell oder die ganze Sache ist (wie zu befürchten) oberfaul. In der Zeit, die es für zehn Warnungen bräuchte, wäre der Flieger ja schon fast in Ankara…
So sieht das übrigens auch der ehemalige Bundeswehrgeneralinspekteuer Kujat im Interview mit dem Deutschlandradio:
“”Wenn die russischen Piloten die syrisch-türkische Grenze überflogen haben und danach fünf Minuten lang zehnmal gewarnt worden, dann wären sie also mindestens vierzig, fünfzig, wenn nicht mehr Kilometer in den türkischen Luftraum eingedrungen. Das ist offensichtlich nicht der Fall. Es gibt also hier durchaus Erklärungsbedarf.”
Da hat jemand die BILD zurückgepfiffen:
BILD 1700h
Hier die komplette Aussage Putins heute nachmittag:
Die vorläufige NATO-Linie in Europa wird klar – sowohl Steynmeyer als auch Cameron vermeldeten, die “Hauptstädte sollten miteinander reden”.
Laut Sputnik bestätigt das Pentagon die Verletzung der türkischen Grenze nicht… Sie sollten sich mal mit dem oben erwähnten Oberst Warren unterhalten.
Das könnte ein Hinweis darauf sein, dass die US-Administration gerade tief gespalten ist und eine Seite die türkische Aktion gestützt hat.
Interessante kleine “Abrüstung” beim SPIEGEL – das Thema der abgeschossenen SU 24 wurde dem notorisch russophoben Benjamin Bidder entzogen und dem Türkei-Korrespondenten übertragen… Bidder hatte die ersten Artikel heute nachmittag verfassen dürfen.
Auf Propagandaschau wird klar und verständlich die rechtliche Lage erläutert: entscheidend sei nicht, ob das russische Flugzeug den Luftraum der Türkei verletzt habe, sondern, in welchem Luftraum es sich befand, als es abgeschossen wurde. Und das sei doch eindeutig der syrische gewesen. Die ARD und andere deutsche Medien gäben sich große Mühe, diese Tatsache zu verschleiern.
Das russische Verteidigungsministerium hat den Abschuss der SU 24 durch die Türkei zum “unfreundlichen Akt” erklärt. Das ist keine höfliche Formulierung; schärfer wäre nur noch “kriegerischer Akt” gewesen, das hieße aber, man wertet es als Kriegserklärung mit allen Konsequenzen. “Unfreundlicher Akt” impliziert jedenfalls, der Abschuss sei in voller Absicht erfolgt.
Zur Ergänzung einige Stimmen aus Russland (wiedergegeben in Wsgljad,
Waleri Burke, Pilot: Wenn ein Flugzeug den Luftraum verletzt, dann erzwingt man die Landung, aber schießt es nicht ab.
Wiktor Baranes, Militärkommentator: Wir haben sicher objektive Kontrolldaten, ob unser Flugzeug den türkischen Luftraum verletzt hat. Ich denke, es wird sicher als Erwiderung einige ziemlich ernste Reaktionen geben. Wir werden die Türken nicht fragen, ob sie die syrische Grenze überquert haben oder nicht. Wenn die Türken mit auch nur fünf Zentimetern eines Flügels in den syrischen Luftraum eindringen, werden wir da sein, um sie zu beschuldigen. So wird die Antwort sein.
Wladislaw Schurigin, Militärkommentator: Was das Video vom Abschuss betrifft, sieht die ganze Geschichte sehr nach geplanter Provokation aus. Weil schlichte Zuschauer einfach nicht die Zeit haben, so klar einen abstürzenden Flieger einzufangen. Alles sieht nach einer vorbereiteten Falle aus, die Türkei hat offensichtlich die Nerven verloren. Es ist kein Geheimnis, dass die Ausbildungslager der Kämpfer gegen die syrische Regierung in diesem Land liegen, und Präsident Erdogan schäumte jüngst vor Wut über die Treffer gegen diese Gruppierungen und rief dazu auf, die Einsätze der russischen Luftwaffe zu verurteilen. Vielleicht haben sie beschlossen, die Linie zu überschreiten.
Irina Alxnis, Vizepräsidentin des Zentrums für soziale und politische Studien “Aspekt”: Aber die Wahrscheinlichkeit, Aufnahmen so hoher Qualität von einem solchen Absturz zu erhalten, und ihr schnelles Auftauchen auf türkischen Fernsehsendern bedeuten nur eines. Es gab Leute, die genau wussten, wo sie schauen müssen, und wohin sie den Blick richten müssen. Das heisst, die Türken haben auf irgendein mehr oder weniger passendes Flugzeug gelauert.
Anatolij Scharij, Medienexperte: Sagen Sie – warum die Türkei auf ein Flugzeug geschossen hat? Glauben Sie, es ist cool, jeden Tag den Extraprofit aus dem Wiederverkauf des geschmuggelten Öls zu verlieren

Nicht Nato Sicht auf Abschuss der Su24

Dangerous Skies