Russian Shootdown Update

First, it appears that Erdogan’s Son Bilal owned the oil trucks that were bombed by Russia on the day before the shootdown. Funny how that works:

The prime source of money feeding ISIS these days is sale of Iraqi oil from the Mosul region oilfields where they maintain a stronghold. The son of Erdoğan it seems is the man who makes the export sales of ISIS-controlled oil possible.

Bilal Erdoğan owns several maritime companies. He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdoğan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil tankers.

Gürsel Tekin vice-president of the Turkish Republican Peoples’ Party, CHP, declared in a recent Turkish media interview, “President Erdoğan claims that according to international transportation conventions there is no legal infraction concerning Bilal’s illicit activities and his son is doing an ordinary business with the registered Japanese companies, but in fact Bilal Erdoğan is up to his neck in complicity with terrorism, but as long as his father holds office he will be immune from any judicial prosecution.” Tekin adds that Bilal’s maritime company doing the oil trades for ISIS, BMZ Ltd, is “a family business and president Erdoğan’s close relatives hold shares in BMZ and they misused public funds and took illicit loans from Turkish banks.

BTW, it now appears that between the Russians deploying a guided missile cruiser and S-400 long range SAMs, has created a no-fly zone in Syria, for the Turks:

The Turkish army has suspended flights over Syria as part of an ongoing joint military campaign with the United States against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after it shot down a Russian jetfighter, sparking an unprecedented crisis between Ankara and Moscow.

The decision was taken following the eruption of the crisis with Russia in which a Turkish F-16 downed a Russian warplane early Nov. 24 after it allegedly violated Turkish airspace, according to diplomatic sources.

Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, stressed that the suspension of the Turkish jetfighters’ participation in the U.S.-led military operations against ISIL was in fact a mutual decision taken with Russia, which also halted its aerial campaigns near the Turkish border. Both parties will continue to be as careful as possible in a bid to avoid a repetition of such incidents until they re-establish dialogue channels to reduce the tension.

Turkish and Russian military officials held initial talks on the incident on Nov. 25 as the office of the Chief of General Staff invited defense and military attachés from the Russian Embassy to military headquarters to inform them about how the incident took place. However, there is still a need for high-level political meetings to let the two parties reconcile and reduce the tension.

I would take the bit about Russia standing down, because we have numerous report of continued airstrikes by Russia against targets across Syria.

The important part of Turkey standing down in Syria is probably that the Kurds, who are now supported by both the Russians and the US are likely to have far greater freedom of operation, as they will not have to worry about Turkey bombing them.

Rather unsurprisingly, we now have a timeline, with the Russian jet in Turkish airspace for less than 18 seconds according to Turkish claims (how you warn an aircraft 10 times in 18 seconds is an activity I will leave as an exercise to the reader), which implies that this was not a timely response to a Russian provocation, but a predetermined and preplanned shootdown, which indicates that the (absurd) Turkish assertions that they did not know the plane was Russian are lies.

Meanwhile, the Russians have implemented a series of sanctions against Turkey.

Most significantly, it appears that this will involve the shutting down the tourist trade to Turkey, which is something like a quarter of Turkey’s tourism business, though it will also likely involve agricultural products and textiles.

Russia is not doing anything involving natural gas exports at this time.

I think that sanctions involving natural gas are highly unlikely:  Turkey actually pays for its gas, and were they to do so, it would spur alternate pipelines to Turkey, and perhaps to through Turkey to Europe.

It’s a mess, but in the short term, it appears, in the short term at least, that Turkey is coming out the worse on this, because they will be less able to prosecute their policies in Syria.


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