Moscow, Russia – In response to the Turkish downing of a Russian Su-24, Russia is deploying the guided missile cruiser Moskva off the coast of Syria.
The missile cruiser is equipped with the ‘Fort’ air defense system, similar to the S-300, one of the most advanced anti-aircraft missile systems in the world.
The move comes as a Russian rescue helicopter was also shot down by U.S. backed Syrian FSA rebels, equipped with U.S. made TOW anti-tank missiles.
These new measures implemented by Russia are aimed at strengthening the security of the country’s air base in Syria, and in particular to bolster air defense of Russian aircraft flying combat missions against terrorist groups in Syria.
“We warn that every target posing a potential threat will be destroyed,” lieutenant general Sergey Rudskoy said during the briefing.
“All military contacts with Turkey will be suspended,” he added.
According to a report by RT:
Sergey Rudskoy, a top official with the Russian General Staff, condemned the attack on the Russian bomber in Syrian airspace by a Turkish fighter jet as “a severe violation of international law”. He stressed that the Su-24 was downed over the Syrian territory. The crash site was four kilometers away from the Turkish border, he said.
Although Turkey claims the Russian warplane violated their airspace, the Russian craft never entered Turkish airspace, according to Rudskoy. Additionally, according to the Hmeymim airfield radar, released by Russia, it was the Turkish fighter jet that actually entered Syrian airspace as it attacked the Russian bomber.
The Turkish fighter jet made no attempts to contact Russian pilots before attacking the bomber, Rudskoy added.
U.S. officials have stated that the Russian craft violated Turkish airspace for “a matter of seconds.”
At an emergency meeting of NATO officials, diplomats present at the meeting told Reuters that while none of the 28 NATO envoys defended Russia’s actions, many expressed concern that Turkey did not escort the Russian warplane out of its airspace. “There are other ways of dealing with these kinds of incidents,” said one diplomat who declined to be named.
“We assume the strike was carried out with a close range missile with an infra-red seeker,” Rudskoy said. “The Turkish jet made no attempts to communicate or establish visual contact with our crew that our equipment would have registered. The Su-24 was hit by a missile over Syria’s territory.”
Russia has made clear that their Syrian anti-terrorism operations will continue unabated.
The reality is that the U.S. and its Western allies blatantly support certain terrorist groups in Syria as a means of deposing Assad, while claiming they are fighting others (ISIS). Russia, on the other hand, has been consistent in the fact that they claim any forces fighting against the legitimate government of Syria are terrorists.
The Western policy is clearly a veiled attempt at regime change, and has little if anything to do with stopping terrorism. If the U.S. really wanted to stem the tide of the Islamic State, the first order of business would be clamping down on the largest state sponsor of ISIS, Turkey.
Instead of holding Turkey accountable for their support of terrorism, the Western alliance offers them protection as a NATO “ally.” If NATO is willing to allow Turkey to continue to support ISIS, militarily, logistically and financially; is there really a war on terror, or just a war on the people’s perceptions as a means of achieving geopolitical goals?
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on Ben Swann’s Truth in Media, Truth-Out, AlterNet, InfoWars, MintPress News, as well as many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.