Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Actual Red Line

The long-standing option by the West of creating a no-fly zone across northern Syria and perhaps the south to protect rebels seeking to overthrow Assad is now dead as Russian planes and anti-aircraft weapons cover that air space. And that's the good news.

The Russians are against a Western no-fly zone over portions of Syria:

Russia on Monday spoke out against the creation of a no-fly zone in Syria, saying it was important to respect the war-torn country's sovereignty.

So we won't impose one. Heck, we'll be lucky to impose one over a NATO state in the face of Russian air power:

Turkey warned Russia on Monday against violating its airspace during raids in Syria, as NATO condemned the "extreme danger" of such intrusions and urged Moscow to stop targeting civilians.

Turkey, a NATO member, protested to Moscow after its F-16 jets intercepted a Russian fighter plane that violated its airspace near the Syrian border at the weekend.

Two Turkish jets were also harassed by an unidentified MIG-29 on the Syrian border, Turkey's army said.

NATO has protested:

The United States and NATO denounced Russia on Monday for violating Turkish airspace and Ankara threatened to respond, reporting two incursions in two days and raising the prospect of direct confrontation between the former Cold War adversaries.

So what do we do?

Our dithering over Syria creates the potential crisis of demonstrating the inability of NATO to defend a member state's air space against Russian planes.

I mean, if we falter in Turkey, Putin wouldn't take advantage of that over the skies of Estonia, would he?

UPDATE: Turkey wants NATO air defense missiles to remain in Turkey:

Turkey urged its NATO allies on Thursday to keep up missile defenses along its Syrian border, after Germany and the United States said they would press on with plans to withdraw Patriot batteries despite worries about Russian actions in the area.

Well, we certainly can't allow events to change our plans, for God's sake!