Turkish warplanes have shot down a Russian military aircraft on the border with Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Su-24 was hit by air-to-air missiles fired by Turkish F-16s while it was flying over Syrian territory. [BBC]
REVEALING THE lack of coordination among nations fighting Da’esh, considered a derogatory name for ISIL, Turkey shot down a Russian jet, causing tensions to ratchet up in an area of the world that is on alert. It’s now a battle of words between Russia and Turkey, the latter claiming that they warned the pilots 10 times before blasting the jet out of the sky. The Paris attacks bringing more urgency to the fighting, which has also made the world a little more aware of just how vulnerable people are against murderers who want nothing more than a high dead body count.
Russia is not happy, cancelling Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s trip to Turkey, due on Wednesday for bilateral talks. Everyone seems to be scrambling.
“The Russian operations were against illegal terrorist formations mainly made up of fighters from Russia’s North Caucasus region… Attempts by Russian defence ministry specialists to make emergency contact with their Turkish counterparts were unsuccessful… The ministry is currently working out a range of measures to react to this kind of incident… Military operations against terrorists in Syria will continue.” [The Guardian]
While this is swirling, French President Hollande is meeting with President Obama. From The Guardian
On the diplomatic front, French president Francois Hollande has begun talks with Barack Obama at the White House. Hollande is seeking support for increased military action against Islamic State after the atrocities in Paris that left 130 dead. He received David Cameron at the Elysee palace yesterday. Hollande, who is to go on to Russia, has pleaded for the US and Russia to set aside their policy differences over Syria and “fight this terrorist army in a broad, single coalition”.
In a busy Thanksgiving travel week, State has also issued a worldwide travel alert.
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats. Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests. This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.
Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis. Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali. ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.