If Russia decides to engage Turkey in a military confrontation over the downing of its plane by Ankara, it could trigger a major war between world powers, an American political analyst in Virginia says.
“If there is a military confrontation between NATO and between Russia that could indeed trigger a major World War III or something approximating that,” said Keith Preston, chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com, a website dedicated to encouraging revolt against domestic and foreign US government policies.
On Tuesday, NATO member Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer jet, claiming the aircraft had repeatedly violated its air space.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the jet had been attacked when it was 1 kilometer inside Syria. He warned of “serious consequences” and called it a “stab in the back” administered by “the accomplices of terrorists.”
In an interview with Press TV on Thursday, Preston said, according to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, if Russia decides to retaliate against Turkey, “that would be considered an act of aggression or an act of war against NATO itself,” because “an alleged attack on one particular member nation within NATO is considered an attack on all.”
Article Four of the NATO treaty calls for consultation over military matters when “the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened”
Invoking Article Four, NATO countries met Tuesday after Turkey brought down the Russian jet. However, Article Five was not invoked during that meeting.
After downing the Russian jet, which was the first such action by a NATO member since 1952, US President Barack Obama expressed his support for Ankara, saying, “Turkey, like every country, has a right to defend its territory and its airspace.”
“What the United States tried to do and what NATO has tried to do since the end of the Cold War is extending NATO right up to Russia’s borders and extend Western military bases in the Central Asia for the purpose of encircling Russia,” Preston noted.
“And this is in fact an illustration of why it was a bad idea to keep the NATO alliance intact after the end of the cold war,” he added.
“The NATO alliance was created specifically for the purpose of countering the influence of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw pact during the Cold War and once the Soviet Union collapsed and the Warsaw Pact dissolved, there was no longer any rational reason to keep NATO together,” he noted.
“Russia is involved… in Syria at the request of the Syrian government and it is necessary that the Syrian government be defended because the only alternative to the regime of President Assad is the seizure of power and then complete takeover of the nation by Daesh,” he argued.
Russia has been conducting airstrikes on Daesh positions at the request of the Syrian government since September 30.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. The United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.