Only days after warning Russia of “serious consequences” if they continued bombing ISIS in the Syrian-Turkish border region, a Russian Su-24 fighter jet was shot down by Turkey, with Turkish officials claiming the jet had violated Turkish airspace, a claim Moscow denies.
U.S. officials have stated that the Russian jet violated Turkish airspace for “a matter of seconds.”
The Russian plane was flying at an altitude of 6,000m (19,685ft) when it was shot down by the Turkish military before subsequently crashing. The pilots were reportedly shot by Turkmen as they parachuted from the jet as it crashed. Initial reports suggested the pilots were killed, but the Turkish government claims the pilots are alive and negotiating their release with the rebel group holding them.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense:
“The Russian operations were against illegal terrorist formations mainly made up of fighters from Russia’s North Caucasus region… Attempts by Russian defence ministry specialists to make emergency contact with their Turkish counterparts were unsuccessful… The ministry is currently working out a range of measures to react to this kind of incident… Military operations against terrorists in Syria will continue.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately took to the airwaves to denounce the attack, calling the Turkish government’s actions a “stab in the back by accomplices of terrorists.”
While some may think this to be an ad hominem attack precipitated by a visceral reaction, they would be mistaken. Mounting evidence shows that NATO member Turkey is the largest state supporter of the Islamic State/Daesh terrorist group.
International security expert, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, has repeatedly documented the fact that Turkey acts as a state sponsor of ISIS.
According to a report in Insurge Intelligence by Dr. Ahmed:
Earlier this year, the Turkish daily Meydan reported citing an Uighur source that more than 100,000 fake Turkish passports had been given to ISIS…
A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer from a major raid on an ISIS safehouse told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’” The same official confirmed that Turkey, a longstanding member of NATO, is not just supporting ISIS, but also other jihadist groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria…
Turkey has also played a key role in facilitating the life-blood of ISIS’ expansion: black market oil sales. Senior political and intelligence sources in Turkey and Iraq confirm that Turkish authorities have actively facilitated ISIS oil sales through the country…
Last summer, Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, an MP from the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party, estimated the quantity of ISIS oil sales in Turkey at about $800 million — that was over a year ago.
By now, this implies that Turkey has facilitated over $1 billion worth of black market ISIS oil sales to date.
So when the mainstream media attempts to propagandize you into believing that Turkey was simply defending its territory, you can be almost certain that is a lie. The reality is that Turkey is a neo-Islamist regime bent on taking out the Assad government in Syria through the use of terrorist proxies, and is working to defend their terrorist allies in Syria.
After the downing of the Russian fighter jet, Russian President Vladimir Putin very succinctly laid out what has been taking place, placing blame directly on the Turkish government for the continued growth of the Islamic State.
“We have long been recording the movement of a large amount of oil and petroleum products to Turkey from Isis-occupied territories. This explains the significant funding the terrorists are receiving. Now they are stabbing us in the back by hitting our planes that are fighting terrorism. This is happening despite the agreement we have signed with our American partners to prevent air incidents, and, as you know, Turkey is among those who are supposed to be fighting terrorism within the American coalition.
If Isis is making so much money – we are talking about tens or maybe even hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars – in oil trade and they are supported by the armed forces of an entire state, it is clear why they are being so daring and impudent, why they are killing people in such gruesome ways, why they are committing terrorist attacks all over the world, including in the heart of Europe,” Putin said.
The fact that NATO continues to allow membership by Turkey, after their blatant support of the Islamic State, should raise serious questions as to who we call our “allies.”
If the U.S. truly wants to stop the Islamic State then it would seem logical to call Turkey out for its immense and continued state support of ISIS/Daesh. Of course, the alternative is that the U.S. actually has no intention of fighting terror, but is simply using it as a red herring to provide cover for regime change in Syria.
The fact remains that Turkey is one of the biggest supporters of global terrorism and a member of NATO… let that sink in for a minute.
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.