The Turks just shot down a Russian SU-24 near the Turkish border:
NATO faced being thrust into a new Middle Eastern crisis on Tuesday after warplanes from member state Turkey shot down a Russian jet that Turkish officials said had violated their country’s airspace on the border with Syria.
The incident marked a serious escalation in the Syrian conflict that is likely to further strain relations between Russia and the NATO alliance.
Russian officials confirmed that a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft was shot down Tuesday morning but insisted it had not violated Turkey’s airspace.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said one of at least two pilots probably died during the incident, and a marine also was killed by apparent Syrian insurgent fire during a helicopter rescue operation to retrieve the downed airmen.
The downing brings renewed attention to a scenario feared for months by the Pentagon and its partners: a potential conflict arising from overlapping air missions over Syria — with Russia backing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had strong words for Turkey, calling the incident a “stab in the back.”
By way of scale, that little bit of Turkey is in dispute is about 2 miles wide, while the Russians are maintaining that the Turkish aircraft entered Syrian airspace during the shoot-down.
This is a F%$#ing mess, and the US is between a rock and a hard place.
The Turks are clearly providing tacit support to Jihadis, including (in the past, at least) ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Whatever, but they are also NATO allies, which means that the US is treaty bound to support them.
Particularly when juxtaposed with the fact that the elements of the US military and foreign policy establishment are still aggressively supporting the idea of the violent overthrow of the Syrian government, (which worked so f%$#ing well in Libya) this has all the makings of a fiasco.