Ahhh you know it is so!
Conflict is a nasty thang - and when she be fully crunk - ain"t no telling Magellan - where all it could spread ya"ll or conflagrate next bay bee!!
Like the murderfields of ye olde Suriya al- Kubra.
Unleashing those shiny new air defense systems Commonwealth Russia gave up to Bashar"s illegit Allawicious regime - the Syrians literally blew an ancient unarmed combat recce jet right out of the air.
The Ottomans - on paper anywrought - appear to possess an awesome military. She's got the world's very first lady grrl bomber pilot, the 2nd most biggest Army in all of NATO, a generously ruthless conscription policy (zero tolerance for conscientious objectifiers - tho conscript time is anywhere from 15 months to 3 years), a history of invading her neighbors and doing the illegal occupation thingy, cruelly inventing new words like 'genocide' and hostessing new clear armed bomber jets.
Her army fields 9 Army Corps, 1 Inf Div, 2 Mechanized Inf Divs, 1 Panzer Division, 11 Infantry / Motorized Infantry Brigades, 16 Mechanized Infantry Brigades, 9 Panzer Brigades, 5 Para-Commando Brigades. Her air force can, at least on paper, deliver a world of hurt with a semi sorta strategic reach and her navy often threatens to intervene on behalf of rowdy foreign violently determined blockade busters.
Anyone trekking to Turkey looking for trouble would certainly find it!
Or would they?
Face it - thus far - the Ottomans are only able to use their military to beat up cats hot for sump sump greater Kurdistan. The Ottomans seem unable to project power in a regional way like a regional hegemon should and could - despite constant hellos that the Ottomans are a force to be reckoned with. They never helped poor Lebanon, couldn"t do a thing about Libya and thus far only indulge in non profit jawflapping about 'safe zones" or "humanitarian interventions" in Syria.
Not unlike those amazingly impotent Arab League militaries that couldn"t fight a set piece battle or intervene to halt unacceptable behaviour if the entire League depended on it.
Only now - the Ottomans have a casus beli to do something.
By shooting down the Turkish fighter jet, it is argued, Damascus aimed to take advantage of the current situation in which Syrian tyranny in enjoying a stalemate between regional and global powers, to send a message to political and armed opposition by questioning Turkey’s capability. The move is a demonstration of defiance toward Ottomanic involvement in the Syrian turmoil, and in the larger context, Turkey’s regional leadership ambitions. Besides, it is obvious that Damascus would have not been that audacious if the target was a Little Satan fighter jet.
A clash between Turkey and Syria is tantamount to a clash between the normative idealism of Ankara’s ambitions and the pragmatic realism of the Baathist dictatorship’s survival strategy. However, in the Middle East, a state which responds to military aggression with rhetoric and condemnation cannot claim regional leadership.
It is a tough environment with constant low-intensity conflicts, and conventional wars take place nearly in every decade. Put simply, if Assad now does not feel as worried as he would if his air defenses had downed a British or an Israeli warplane, or an American one, Turkey’s regional leadership ambitions are tantamount to empty talk.
For instance, in 1998, during the expulsion of Abdullah Ocalan, the currently imprisoned leader of PKK terrorist organization, Hafez Assad stepped back by giving way to Turkish gunboat diplomacy. However, Iran’s mounting political-military profile and Russia’s rise under Putin now constitute a different security environment than the one that existed in the 1990s.
Nevertheless, the recent escalation might be a game-changer regarding the possible trajectory of Turkish- Syrian tensions. The incident may dramatically shift Turkish public opinion, which currently opposes war with Syria. The pilots are still missing; if they were killed, the traditional religious-nationalistic martyrdom cult of the Turkish culture would garner support of masses demanding Assad be payed back.
Although mainstream Turkish media favors muddle-through efforts, as it generally does, there is no middle course for Ankara in the final analysis. Therefore, in the following weeks we may either witness a military intervention against Damascus, which would be spearheaded by Turkey and may trigger a regional clash, or the downfall of Turkey’s neo-Ottomanist ambitions along with Ankara’s return to the classic isolationist policy.
After all - who all would bow before a sultan who tolerates such an insult?
Pic - "No game player"