Russia has deployed S-400 “Triumph” missile batteries in Syria after Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 Bomber. President Putin commented on the deployment saying, “no-one imagined the Russian aircraft could be in danger. Russia would’ve brought S-400s to Syria a long time ago to protect its warplanes, if it entertained the possibility of a traitorous backstab.” Defence Ministry spokesman Konahsenkov stated that Russia needed to, “ensure the safety of our aircraft during their operations against IS [and] against terrorists LIH and other terrorist groups via more reliable means,”
This hardware is complementing the Russian missile cruiser that is operating off the coast of Latkia. Russia also previously had SU-27 Flanker fighter jets deployed. This previously worried military experts, since the jet is not typically needed outside of countering advanced aircraft like the F-16. Russia wasn’t alone. The U.S. is fighting ISIS in Syria with overkill, by using the F-22 Raptor stealth fighters for the very first time.
To make matters worse, Turkey is upping the ante on the border as well with 20 tanks and 18 fighter jets. Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan is not trying to descelate the situation in words either. His statement to CNN was that Russia instead of Turkey should apologize for the downing of the jet. This is very significant with Turkey being a NATO member since 1952, since Article 5 of the Nato agreement calls all member states including the U.S. to protect all other members of the alliance. If the Russian and Turkey conflict escalates, the United States would have to use their already present forces to support Turkey against Russia in Syria.
There has been some talk about removing Turkey from NATO. This isn’t new talk either. French writer Bernard-Henri Levy wrote back in October of last year that Turkey was choosing their disdain of the Kurdish people over the need to fight ISIS. He suggested that Turkey’s future in NATO is in doubt due to their multiple failures to be a loyal member of NATO combined with their conflict of interest with NATO members. Russia seems to have tapped French President François Hollande to discuss the possibility of NATO countries forming a coalition with Russia excluding Turkey explicitly.