Earlier today Turkey scrambled F-16s to intercept a Syrian passenger jet and forced it to land at Ankara airport. They were successful and escorted the Airbus A320 safely to Esenboga Airport.
This is yet another uptick in the escalation of the ongoing conflict between Turkey and Syria.
The Syrian plane had taken off from Moscow and was headed toward Damascus. Turkish foreign minister had noted that Ankara had received intelligence that the plane was carrying “non-civilian” cargo.
They did not specify how they received that intelligence (they wouldn’t), nor did they specify what that intelligence was.
What we do know is that the Turkish government is currently inspecting the plane for weapons, which had been also carrying 35 passengers. There’s as of yet no word on who those passengers are, whether they were apart of the as-yet-unconfirmed plot or if they were simply innocent bystanders who got on the wrong plane.
After Syria’s artillery fire had started landing across their shared border, Turkey has been less than amused and has been returning fire. NATO, of which Turkey is a member, has declared that the organization is prepared to defend Turkey should Syria’s behavior become too belligerent to their allied nation.
And of course, Russia has supplied Syria with weapons, and if Turkey finds heavy weaponry upon the passenger plane, Moscow will have been caught red handed in continuing to arm the Assad regime.
Meanwhile, Iraq has been freaking out, begging Turkey not to drag NATO into this. Of course, Iraq’s Prime Minister has as of late been getting cozy with Russia, announcing a $4.2 Billion weapons deal, which is a throwback deal to how things were between the two countries when Saddam Hussein was in charge.
More on this story as it develops.
Question: Is war becoming inevitable between Turkey and Syria?