According to unnamed US officials, it was American intelligence agencies that were behind Turkey’s decision to force down a Syrian passenger plane last week, to follow up on US suspicions that the plane had Russian military hardware aboard.
Turkish officials made unspecified claims of the search turning up “objectionable” material, but Russian officials insist all that was on board were “dual use” radar parts, which are not banned from being on civilian aircraft. The US State Department condemned Russia for pointing this out.
This “tip” and the subsequent deleterious effect it has had on Russo-Turkish relations is part of what Obama Administration officials call growing military ties with Turkey as the Syrian Civil War continues to worsen.
Of course, Turkey was already one of the largest military powers in NATO, and so had a pretty close relationship with the US as it is, but officials now concede that they have been talking with Turkey about the idea of attacking Syria to impose a “no-fly zone.” No decision has been made, and such a move would be an act of war, one likely to spark a major reaction from Russia and China, two close allies of Syria.