Video Duration 24 minutes 55 seconds
From: Inside Story

Why did Turkey shoot down a Russian plane?

There appears to be more to Turkey’s action than an alleged border incursion.

Military analysts and observers have long warned of the dangers of Syria’s “internationalised” conflict, where a range of world powers are carrying out military action for different ends.

On Tuesday, those fears where vindicated when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet, ostensibly because it had crossed into Turkish airspace.

Turkey has warned Russia before about border incursions, and says it warned the plane ten times before shooting it down.

Russia says its jet never crossed into Turkish airspace, and that it was attacked one kilometre inside Syria.

But the competing versions do little to explain the wider struggle for power and influence in Syria.

Russia has been bombing Syrian rebel groups, some of whom are supported by Turkey, since it began its air campaign on September 30.

Of most concern to Turkey is Russia’s targeting of Syrian Turkmen. They are ethnic Turks who are concentrated in an area north of Latakia.

The Turkmen were among the first groups to take up arms against President Bashar al-Assad. Now they find themselves on the receiving end of Russian air strikes.

Is Turkey sending Russia a warning about its actions in Syria? And how will this incident affect ongoing efforts to reach a political solution in the country?

Presenter: Hazem Sika


Vladimir Sotnikov – Strategic analyst at the Institute of Oriental Studies in the Russian Academy for Special Sciences 

Soner Cagaptay – Director of Turkish research programme at the Washington Institute

Kurt Volker – Former US ambassador to NATO and executive director of McCain Institute for International Leadership