With U.S. President Barack Obama’s move to place American fighter jets on the Turkish-Syrian border to “target Russian planes,” the tensions between the U.S. and Russia could spiral into a “devastating nuclear war,” according to a U.S. representative.
With Russian President Vladimir Putin warning NATO of “serious consequences” for shooting down a Russian warplane last week, analysts have every reason to believe that Moscow is preparing to start a nuclear war with the U.S.-led Alliance over the incident. And with Obama deploying American fighter jets to the Turkish-Syrian border and his opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, the situation could result in a nuclear war between the United States and Russia, according to U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
“Russia’s installation of their anti-aircraft missile-defense system increases that possibility of — whether it’s intentional or even an accidental event — where one side may shoot down the other side’s plane,” Gabbard said, according to National Review. “And that’s really where the potential is for this devastating nuclear war.”
He’s referring to Russia’s recent move to deploy the S-400 defense missile systems to the Russian Air Force base in the Syrian province of Latakia. The S-400 system is Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft defense system, as reported by ValueWalk on Friday. The deployment of the S-400s will thus enable Russian forces to destroy NATO’s aircraft flying at an altitude of up to 3.8 miles and within 372 miles of the base in Latakia.
Putin: Turkey will regret shooting down our jet
In this year’s annual State of the Nation address, Putin defended his decision to start dropping bombs in Syria in late September, claiming that Russia must fight terrorism abroad to prevent it from penetrating Russia’s borders.
“Russia has long been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism. This is a fight for freedom, truth and justice, for the lives of people and the future of the entire civilization,” said Putin, addressing Russia’s top officials during the televised event.
However, with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev struggling to stay awake throughout Putin’s speech, it certainly wasn’t Putin’s most inspiring speech, according to Reid Standish of Foreign Policy. But what was noted by analysts, including Standish, is that Putin’s speech included a furious narrative targeting Russia’s current “Enemy Number One,” Turkey, for shooting down the Russian warplane. Putin said he will make sure Turkey’s leadership regrets the downing of Russia’s aircraft.
“We will remind them not just once about what they have done, and they will feel sorry about it more than just once,” Putin said. “We always considered, and will always consider, treachery to be the ultimate and lowest act. Let those in Turkey who shot our pilots in the back know this.”
Putin urged to drop nuclear bombs on Turkey
The reference to Turkey as Russia’s “enemy Number One” originally came from one of Russia’s other leading politicians who also suggested that Putin should drop a few bombs on Turkey, killing 9 million people. It is yet unclear whether Putin is going to listen to his country’s officials and reduce Turkey to ashes.
“Only Allah, most likely, knows why they did this. And evidently Allah decided to punish the ruling clique in Turkey by depriving them of their intelligence and reason,” Putin said.
Moreover, Putin has accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of personally gaining profit from oil trade with ISIS militants. And yet, Putin claims that Russia is not “planning to engage in military sabre-rattling.”
“But if anyone thinks that having committed this awful war crime, the murder of our people, that they are going to get away with some measures concerning their tomatoes or some limits on construction and other sectors, they are sorely mistaken,” Putin continued.
Turkey and Russia ready up their forces on Syrian border
Tensions between Turkey and Russia continue to escalate as both sides beef up their military strength at the Turkish-Syrian border, according to Voice of America. Since the incident with the Russian jet, Putin and Erdogan have exchanged numerous accusations, including Putin’s claim that Turkey is helping ISIS in oil smuggling. Erdogan responded saying he would resign if Russia could prove the allegations. Russia has yet to offer evidence to support the smuggling allegation.
According to Voice of America, Russia has amassed its military forces on the Syrian border with Turkey. Additionally, Moscow announced that its Su-34 bombers, which operate in Syria, now carry air-to-air missiles for “self-defense.” Turkey, for its part, increased its patrols along the border.
Will the U.S. withdraw from NATO?
With high chances of the tensions between Turkey and Russia spiraling into a war between NATO and Russia, American experts are weighing in on whether the United States should or should not risk American soldiers’ lives for Turkey. The benefits of the U.S. possibly withdrawing from NATO would be to “discourage irresponsible behavior from current U.S. allies,” according to Zachary Yost of The Canal.
“Without the vast armed might of the United States backing it up, it is unlikely that Turkey would have committed such a provocative act against Russia. Without the United States to ward off any retaliation, nations will think twice before engaging in risky confrontations,” the author stated.
Despite the fact that Turkey is backed by NATO’s 5th Article, which states that an attack on one Ally shall be considered an attack on all NATO members, the chances that Putin is going to unleash a nuclear war against the Alliance are very “likely,” according to Pavel Felgengauer, Russia’s top military analyst, as reported by ValueWalk.