Russian fighter jet kills Turkish soldiers
A Russian airstrike in northern Syria left three Turkish soldiers dead and eleven wounded on Thursday. Moscow confirmed the soldiers' deaths as an "accidental" consequence of operations against the IS. Commentators speculate about the reasons behind the incident.
Moscow following a clear plan
The attack was probably an accident but Moscow is pursuing a clear strategy in the region, Il Sole 24 Ore comments:
“Russia decided to intervene in Syria in order to enhance its role as a major power. But it isn't leaving things at that. ... It is expanding its operations to Libya, where together with Egypt it backs General Khalifa Haftar. ... In Syria Russia presented the West with a fait accompli. Moscow has secured the backing of long-time Nato member Turkey and given Ankara as well as Tehran a seat at the negotiating table. Moscow is making it clear that in today's Libya you have to negotiate with Haftar, and even the UN is waking up to this. The lesson is: with allies alone - especially ones that work against each other - you can't win a war and you can't bring stability to a region. You have to negotiate with the enemy too.”
A Russian act of revenge
The attack was no accident, the left-leaning nationalist online portal OdaTV believes:
“This incident took place precisely on the day Russia declared that the PKK-PYD was not a terrorist organisation and the CIA director visited Turkey. The timing speaks volumes. ... No matter how much Russia stresses that it was an accident and expresses its regret to Turkey at the highest level, this incident cannot be passed over in silence. To believe that Russia wouldn't exact revenge for the shooting down of a fighter jet in 2015 and the killing of its ambassador in 2016 is as misguided as believing that this latest incident was an accident. ... The CIA director's visit may have caused the Russians to fear that Turkey is returning to its pro-Western, transatlantic stance.”