Following the Turkish act of downing a Russian SU-24 bomber, the tensions between the two sides have surged to an extent that Russia has begun to speak about the intentionality of the Turkish action while on the other hand Turkey accused Moscow of deceit. However, the evidences and documents show that targeting the Russian plane by Ankara could possibly be a deliberate act. The reasons for possible intentionality of the downing of Russian plane are:
1.The Russian bomber was downed 5.5 kilometers away from the Turkish border and inside the Syrian territories. Ankara has not deliberated on the consequences of its act, solely thinking about stirring up a fresh crisis to achieve its goals in Syria.
2. The Russians noted that the Turks and Americans were in the know about the flight path of the Russian fighter jets over Syria, meaning that Tukey has deliberately shot down the Russian SU-24.
3. The Turkish officials did not apologize for the move, asserting that their military act has been a right job to do. This means that their measure was intentional.
Accordingly, for two reasons, the Turkish act could have taken place in coordination with the NATO or at least the US.
1. Ankara is well aware that it is unable to counter Russia militarily, therefore, it would never make a move to provoke Moscow’s military response.
2. The organisation of the Turkish army and its personnel is fully dependent to the US and the NATO, making it unimaginable for the Turkish military to take action without coordination with the US and NATO.
Turkish Military action motives
While wondering about the reasons behind the Turkish act of downing the Russian bomber, it must be taken into consideration that Turkey has failed to obtain its predetermined goals and ideals in the Syrian case:
1. The Russian direct military presence in Syria has tipped the scales in favor of the government of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, distancing Turkey from its ambitious objective of overthrowing al-Assad’s government in Syria.
2. Russia’s military intervention has thrown a wrench in the Turkish plans for establishing a no-fly zone over Syria, especially that the Russian fighter jets have several times made incursions into the Turkish airspace, intending to send the message to Ankara that now with the Russian presence in Syria establishing a no-fly zone over Syria or a safe zone inside Syria is unthinkable.
3. The Russian bombing campaign has degraded the strength of the terrorist groups close to Turkey like al-Nusra Front and ISIS.
4. The highly profitable trade of the smuggled oil between Turkey and ISIS has been seriously marred as a result of Russian military operations in Syria. The Russian fighters have several times bombed the ISIS’ oil tankers while in their way towards Turkey.
5. The Russian military intervention in Syria has caused weakening of the Syrian Turkmen. In past years, Turkey has tried to unify the Turkmen in Syria and arm and arrange them within a Turkmen army to, on the one hand, fight al-Assad’s forces and, on the other hand, join the battle against the Syrian Kurds.
6. The launching of Russian anti-terror operation in Syria, while causing degradation of power of the terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Nusra Front, has upgraded the Syrian Kurds’ position, raising a possibility for establishing a Kurdish corridor in the region. This is seen as posing a serious security threat for Turkey because the Syrian Kurds hold deep bonds with Turkey’s enemy, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
7. The Paris terror attacks caused Europe to review approach on the Syrian conflict, spurring the significant European countries like France and Germany to work with Russia and even Iran to fight terrorism. Once this cooperation finalized, Turkey would turn out as the most isolated player of the Syrian crisis scene. Therefore, downing the Russian bomber, Ankara has attempted to keep in place the Eastern-Western polarization in the Syrian conflict.
8. Putin’s recent visit to Tehran and his meeting with Iran’s Supreme leader has worked against Turkey more than against any other country. Because Tehran visit meant an emphasis on Tehran-Moscow strategic alliance which has the potentials to severely represent a challenge to Turkey’s policies. Thereby, Tukey has targeted the Russian warplane to overshadow the Russian president’s visit and its outcomes.