November 25th, 2015
The HSC’s Senior Fellow Dr Rowan Allport explains to the IB Time’s Shane Croucher what Turkey shooting down a Russian jet means for NATO.
Russian aircraft have violated Turkish airspace on a number of occasions amid its participation in the war in Syria. “Although this was only the latest in a series of “accidental” violations of Turkish airspace by Russia, the fact that the Russian aircraft came down on the Syrian side of the Turkish border will rob Ankara of a great deal of international sympathy,” Dr Rowan Allport, a senior fellow at the Human Security Centre thinktank, told IBTimes UK.
“Domestically, Putin will no doubt seek to use the incident to further cast Russia as the victim of the type of outside aggression which he – and only he – can protect the Russian people from. Internationally, it will be used by Moscow to further divert attention from the fact that its attempts to prop up the Assad government do not present a route to a sustainable peace in Syria.”
Allport said that unless Russia did something “uncharacteristically extreme in retaliation”, there will be little impact on Nato more broadly from the jet downing because Turkey was not attacked, so unlikely to try to use Article Five. “While they would be unlikely to express it in public, there is likely to be a feeling within many parts of the Turkish government that this situation has been allowed to go too far already,” he said.
“Other Nato members will offer public platitudes with regards to Turkey’s right to defend its airspace and also conclude that an incident of this nature was inevitable given Russia’s conduct, but few in Turkey will believe that internationalising this crisis further will produce any net benefits.”
Read full article over at the IB Times.