Nato to send Turkey reinforcements
Nato has annouced plans to strengthen Turkey's air defences on the country's border with Syria. Since the downing of a Russian fighter jet the alliance with Moscow against the IS militants has collapsed, some commentators complain. Other urge the West not to allow Ankara to exploit the situation for its own purposes.
Anti-IS alliance has failed
US President Barack Obama has urged Russia and Turkey to seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict that broke out between them after the downing of a Russian plane. The appeal is pointless given that the anti-IS coalition has already failed, writes the liberal business daily Il Sole 24 Ore: "In Syria the Russians and the Iranians, together with Assad, will wage one war while the US and the Europeans wage another. A competition rather than an alliance - that is the result of the row between the Russian tsar and the Turkish sultan. But it's not just about that. The two coalitions have a common enemy, the IS, but very different goals and purposes. They must avoid getting in each other's way too much. The Russian-Turkish tensions will continue despite Obama's attempts to mediate. … An Obama who concedes Ankara's right to defend itself. Yet the Americans are the ones most interested in preventing Turkish expansion in Syria because they don't trust [President] Erdoğan. But to keep him and the Sunni front of Gulf monarchies happy, Obama is insisting on Assad's resignation."
Ankara the most complicated partner
The escalation in the dispute between Moscow and Ankara over the downing of a Russian military jet is endangering the joint mission against the IS militants and putting Nato in an awkward position, the Prague-based radio broadcaster Český rozhlas observes: "The tensions between Erdoğan and Putin are not ebbing. Nato - whether it likes it or not - must support its member Turkey. … The alliance is not hiding its concerns in the face of an ever more agile Russia. Nor is it hiding its frustration with Turkey, which has repeatedly relied on the other allies to solve its problems and moreover uses them to pursue goals which aren't in harmony with Nato's objectives. Yesterday, for instance, when the world was caught up in the row over the downed Russian jet, the operations against the Kurds in eastern Turkey were resumed. … One might well feel inclined to say: another ally like this one and we're doomed."
Moscow's mission increasing Syria's suffering
Moscow's mission in Syria will become even more resolute after Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet, the news website Club Z predicts: "Putin will be even more brazen in his support for Assad's regime. At a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallim, [Russian Foreign Minister] Lavrov already made Russia's support for the Syrian regime clearer than ever. … How will Nato react to Russia's monopoly in the Syria conflict? Will Washington's reaction remain confined to disputing the Russian version of the fighter jet's downing? How far are Washington and its allies willing to let Russia's involvement in the Syrian swamp go? It's hard to tell how the situation will pan out, but one thing's for sure: the Syrian people will suffer more than they already have in the last four years."
Russia calls Turkey's borders into question
The Turkish region of Hatay over which the Russian fighter jet was shot down was handed over to Ankara in 1939 by the French Mandate, but Syria has laid claim to it ever since. Moscow has now once again put the issue on the table, the Kemalist daily Sözcü admonishes: "Ankara continues to speak of rules of engagement and border violations, but Russia doesn't accept all that. Now the real issue has come to light. Russia says: what borders are you talking about? Is Russia justified in bringing up this issue, or not? We should take a look at our borders. Are they clearly defined? Are the borders we lay claim to even recorded in international agreements? No. ... And you still go on talking of 'rules of engagement' and 'our borders'. And now we have reached a point where we're quarrelling with Russia over our border with Syria."