NEWSWATCH Washington Post: “Russian provocations led to the downing of its fighter jet by Turkey”

Turkey map

The Washington Post comments on Turkey’s downing of a Russian military jet, laying the blame squarely upon the Kremlin.

Following Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian military jet Tuesday, Western leaders rightly addressed themselves to heading off an escalation between Moscow and a NATO member. In the process, they were not as clear as they could have been about where responsibility for the incident lay. So we’ll say it: The first shoot-down by a NATO member of a Russian plane in 60 years is the result of the reckless and increasingly dangerous behavior of Vladi­mir Putin’s regime.

As NATO’s secretary general and a U.S. military spokesman confirmed, the SU-24 plane was struck after crossing into Turkey’s airspace; according to a statement by the Turkish Embassy in Washington, it was one of two planes that violated the frontier. Also confirmed by Western officials is that the Russian pilot failed to respond to 10 warnings.

The Washington Post further critiques the Russian government’s response to the incident in its aftermath.

Mr. Putin no doubt has been calculating that Turkey, like other NATO members, would not dare respond to his provocations with force. When he was proved wrong, like a bully unexpectedly punched, he resorted to lies and slanders: Russian planes were not in Turkish airspace; Turkey was defending the Islamic State; the attack was “a stab in the back.” That last phrase was made famous by another strongman, in Germany in the 1930s. It should give pause to those in the West who still cling to the notion that Mr. Putin can be converted into an ally.

Click here for Washington Post editorial – “Russian provocations led to the downing of its fighter jet by Turkey” – November 26, 2015