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Turkey's downing of Russian jet dangerous provocation: Activist

A file picture taken on October 3, 2015 shows a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber taking off from the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. (AFP photo)

Press TV has interviewed Sara Flounders, a member of the International Action Center in New York, to discuss Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: First of all, let’s look at the reaction that is possible for Moscow as far as the downing of its jet is concerned, Moscow has cut off all military cooperation and contact with Turkey but how much worse can this get?

Flounders: Well this is a really dangerous escalation and a direct provocation by Turkey to shoot down a Russian jet [which] was clearly on a mission against ISIS (Daesh) and against the forces trying to tear down the government of Syria.

Turkey understands very well that in no way would they [be] under attack which would be the reason for shooting down a jet now was this jet in Turkish airspace despite Turkish claims. But even if that were true, of course Turkey is not under attack. These are actions that were coordinated in advance actually. Russia has made every effort to coordinate its flights, its jets with the US and the other countries in the region in order to avoid this very kind of thing.

So the fact that Turkey would shoot down a Russian jet means that they went out of their way to seek a very dangerous provocation. We also have to ask did Turkey do that on their own or are there forces in the US who also want to do this.

And in addition, it confirms once again Turkey’s role directly in support of ISIS which President Putin at the G20 meeting in Turkey very clearly with photos showed the thousand oil tankers that stretched across Syria directly into Turkey, taking oil and transferring money back to ISIS and showed Turkey’s direct role in this, the open border that allows ISIS to function in that way.

So Turkey has taken this next step not only with the oil tankers, not only with the funding  but now actually shooting down a Russian plane, a very, very dangerous escalation especially considering that Turkey is a NATO member and this brings US and NATO all the more into this.

Press TV: The US has also said that Turkey has the right to protect its airspace and sovereignty. I am wondering is this a message by NATO, by the US and Turkey to Russia that you are either on the side of US-led so-called coalition against ISIL or you will face the consequences?   

Flounders: It seems to be sending a message because for the US to claim that they are supporting Turkey’s position in this when Turkey has shot down a Russian plane, means that they are determined to push this in an even more dangerous direction and that they are not for even coordinating the plans such as their actual training efforts to avoid these kinds of things.

So Turkey’s action and the statement of support from the US are both very dangerous escalation and it shows that they want to protect ISIS. There is no other way to interpret this at the very time that both the ISIS oil flow and the ISIS thousands of fighters are under attack for this action to happen shows that the US and Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the forces in the region determined to make war on Syria, are also determined to go ahead despite meetings in Vienna and much talk of peace. Their determination is for war.  

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