Erdogan’s Dance of Death With NATO | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Erdogan’s Dance of Death With NATO

Although the evidence is murky, it appears that both Russian and Syrian jet fighters took part in the Feb. 27 attack on a Turkish mechanized infantry battalion consisting of roughly 400 soldiers. According to an account in Al-Monitor, two Syrian Sukhoi SU-22 pounded the convoy, forcing the troops to take cover. But then a pair of Russian Sukhoi SU-34s dropped advanced laser-guided bunker-buster bombs on two roadside buildings where Turkish forces had taken shelter, burying them in the rubble.

Al-Monitor speculated that the attack was in retaliation for the intense MANPAD fire – short for man-portable air-defense systems – that Russian aircraft received over southern Idlib a day earlier, as well as MANPAD and drone attacks threatening Russia’s Khmeimim air base along Syria’s Mediterranean coast. If so, it was Russia’s way of saying basta – enough. But while Erdogan’s communications chief, Fahrettin Altun, blasted out a series of tweets promising a powerful response to "the murderous regime" in Damascus and vowing not to retreat, the government held its tongue as far as Russia was concerned. A day later, Erdogan telephoned Vladimir Putin in an effort to talk down tensions. Three days later, he called for a ceasefire while preparing to fly to Moscow for talks.

Erdogan was clearly hoping to drive a wedge between Putin and Assad so as to defuse one threat while concentrating on the other. But it’s unclear if Putin will play along. According to David Hearst, editor in chief of Middle East Eye, the phone call between the two men quickly degenerated into "a shouting match," with Erdogan telling Putin to get out of the way and Putin telling Erdogan to get out of Idlib. Moreover, Putin is under growing pressure to wind up Russia’s role in the Syrian conflict, which another ceasefire will merely prolong. So it looks like Russia may continue to strike while the iron is hot.

If so, the war will continue to heat up, if only in Idlib. As to whether it will spread, Turkey asked the US two weeks ago to conduct aerial patrols along the Idlib border and install two batteries of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to protect against Syrian attacks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And the US government has responded accordingly, according to an article in, datelined today:U.S. promises Turkey ammunition for Syria's Idlib battle

The article goes on to state:

U.S. promises Turkey ammunition for Syria's Idlib battle

The United States is willing to give NATO ally Turkey ammunition alongside humanitarian assistance in northwestern Syria where Ankara is in a deepening standoff with Russia, the U.S. special representative for the region said on Tuesday. Lucy Fielder reports."

As I have mentioned on this site many times before, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government can do, is no guarantee that it will not do it; I am very concerned that President Trump may well rue the day he and his Cabinet decided that this was the "right way" of handling Erdogan's "military misadventures" in Syria.