On Thursday, Lebanese media reported that Turkish helicopters violated Syrian airspace during the morning and flew over a 20 kilometer stretch of territory in northeastern Syria.
ARA News in Iraq reported that residents of the Alyan border area in Syria heard the sounds of helicopters and saw them hovering overhead at a very low altitude. The overflights by Turkish helicopters also continued during the afternoon and were confirmed by Kurdish YPG forces. One of the helicopters was three kilometers into Syrian territory, a Syrian resident reported to ARA News.
The move came less than 24 hours after Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 fighter plane that Ankara says violated Turkish airspace and was warned ten times before it was shot down. The BBC published an audio recording of the Turkish warnings to the Russian plane.
The Turkish action against the Russian air force in Syria caused an unprecedented crisis between the countries that some even think could spark the Third World War.
Western Journalism reported that Glenn Beck had warned that because of Turkey’s NATO membership, the violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian fighter plane could NATO members force to respond with a demand to invoke article five of the NATO charter. That article requires NATO to respond with war if one of the NATO members is attacked.
Beck’s observation is correct. In theory, NATO members could demand to invoke article five.
However, there have been Russian violations of Turkey’s airspace before after the Russian intervention in Syria and that didn’t trigger a military reaction by Turkey or other NATO members.
In this case, it is important to understand that both Russia and Turkey have no interest in starting a huge war that could end up as WWIII.
The conflict between Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey and Russia is over the future of Syria and the wider Middle East.
Erdogan’s Ottoman imperial aspirations in the Middle East have been clear from the beginning since the start of the current turmoil in the Middle East and especially when it comes to Syria.
Erdogan wants Assad out of power and would like to expand Turkey’s influence over Syria. The Turkish President also wants to prevent the forming of a Kurdish state or even a Kurdish autonomous entity in the border area of Syria.
That is why Erdogan closed a deal with President Obama over the use of Turkish airspace and airbases for attacking Islamic State. The deal brought Turkey into the U.S.-led anti ISIS coalition but Erdogan used the deal solely to prevent further Kurdish conquest of territories in the vicinity of the Turkish border.
Russia, on the other hand, wants to consolidate Assad’s rule over Syria and has already acted to win back lost territories in the western and northern part of Syria. And this brings us to what happened on Tuesday and today.
As analyst and weapon expert Jennifer Dyer explained “the Su-24…