Any reminder of Turkey almost instantly awakens in many of us memories of the tragic incident that occurred in the airspace over the Syrian-Turkish border 24 in November 2015, when caused by Ahmet Davutoglu, who issued the order to intercept the Russian front bomber Su-24M, as well as from the gunman President R. Erdogan killed our pilot-sniper, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Anatolyevich Peshkov, and lost his time-tested tactical machine, which participated in strike operations against the then powerful and vezhih "strong points of the terrorist wing of the LIH (prohibited in the Russian Federation). Nevertheless, time passes, and the numerous intricacies and multi-moves of the “Big Game” transform the military-political picture of the problem regions almost beyond recognition. This is exactly what happened in the past two years in the Middle East, or to be more precise, in Russian-Turkish relations.
In particular, in June 2017, the main stage of Moscow’s sanctions war with Ankara was practically completed: most of the restrictions on Turkish companies and on the use of Turkish jobs in Russian territory were lifted, as well as an embargo on imports of various Turkish products. The last stumbling block in trade and economic relations between the countries - an embargo on the import of Turkish tomatoes in the Russian Federation, was eliminated on November 1 on the 2017 of the year, which brought a positive trend to other areas of interaction. It also became clear that Ankara finally decided on its position in the Syrian theater of operations. Now there is absolutely no place left for any “undercover" agreements with the West regarding the presence of Kurdish YPG / YPJ units in the region of the Syrian-Turkish border. Ankara does not accept this "under any sauce", and it has every reason to do so. The situation is such that Washington’s comprehensive support for Iraqi and Syrian Kurds creates an unacceptable and explosive situation for Turkey that could develop into a regional conflict along the entire southern border. For the United States, this state of affairs is extremely favorable, because the wedge-shaped enclave stretching from the south-east to north-west of Syria, controlled by the Kurds, will be a powerful obstacle for the Turkish army in the implementation of regional ambitions in the Syrian theater.
In this case, the presence of a tactical stick for Ankara is aviation The aerospace forces and the MTR of Russia, as well as units of the IRGC, which does not allow the Kurdish troops of many thousands supported by the British units of the SAS and the United States ILC to leave the Turkish side out of the “Syrian denouement”, which in the near future should determine the fate of the Middle East for decades to come . For Moscow, cooperation with the Turkish army is no less a profitable geostrategic asset, due to which it will be an order of magnitude easier to resist US and Israeli plans on the Syrian theater of operations than alone. For observers overflowing with patriotic pathos, let us recall that the fairly exhausted Syrian Arab Army (including even Hezbollah) does not have enough numerical and technological resources to stop possible aggression simultaneously from the Pentagon in the Syrian Democratic Forces, as well as from the recently formed "Arab-Israeli" coalition "sharpened" against Iran, Syria and Lebanon.
For example, in the case of the ground operation of the IDF against the Syrian army and Hezbollah, disguised under the protection of small people - the Druze living in the Golan Heights, there will be practically nothing to oppose Damascus, since the main grouping of the CAA must maintain a line of contact with the "Syrian democratic forces of the country" . The Russian contingent in the SAR today also does not have enough military technical resources to give the Syrian army combat potential, allowing it to maintain control simultaneously in the northern and south-western operational areas, and the transfer of these resources will take months, while same days or weeks. As you can see, the creation of a Russian-Turkish-Iranian coalition to prevent the introduction of pro-American forces in the political settlement process in the Syrian Arab Republic is the most correct, as well as the least economically problematic solution for Moscow, which can retain control over the region and free up additional military resources that very soon may be required at the “erupted” Donbass theater of military operations, where Kiev will very soon receive a long-awaited death from our overseas “colleagues” weapon.
Apparently, a similar range of issues will be discussed at the crucial meeting of the Middle East Troika (Russia, Iran and Turkey), which will take place on November 21 on 2017 in Sochi. The heads of the above states have already given their consent to participate in it. Moreover, the seriousness of the consultations in the framework of the Middle East trio is emphasized by the information on the previous meeting of the chiefs of staff of the parties - Valeria Gerasimov (RF), Hulusi Akar (Turkey) and Mohammad Bagheri (Iran), which reviewed and agreed on schemes for increasing the level of de-escalation in the province of Idlib, as well as the tactics of suppressing the remaining enclaves of the IG and “Dzhebhat an-Nusra” in Syrian territory. In order to prevent unforeseen moments, Syrian President Bashar Asad, who met with Vladimir Putin on November 20, was also notified. Based on recent events, it can be assumed that B. Asad was invited to a meeting to warn about the possible need for an extended presence of the NE of Turkey on the territory of the SAR, after all, Damascus had recently criticized the construction of fortifications and observation posts of the Turkish army in Idlib.
At the same time, the beginning of the coordination of the actions of the general staff of Russia, Turkey and Iran, as well as the military units of the states of this “Middle East trio” is not new and out of the ordinary, because the Kurdish YPG / YPJ formations that are the driving force of the “Syrian democratic forces” for a long time they became the main conditional adversary of both Moscow and Ankara with Tehran (after the victory over ISIL, only the SDF can provoke escalation moments). In view of this, coordination within the four de-escalation zones has been going on since September. Yes, and the military transport Tu-154M of the Air and Space Forces of Russia has been using Turkish airspace for a long time to transfer certain cargo and / or personnel to the Syrian airbase Hamim, which was noted due to the availability of such online monitoring resources as Flightradar24 . It says a lot. The real information bomb can be considered an extreme degree of tension, which suddenly became established in relations between Ankara and the North Atlantic Alliance.
Obviously, neither Brussels, nor Washington are absolutely not ready to calmly accept the fact that Erdogan and the Turkish defense ministry are participating in developing a unified strategy for the “Great Middle Eastern Division” together with the main NATO opponents - Russia and Iran, because it is completely out of tune with the plans of the West to provide military support to the SDF, which could "pierce" the corridor to the coast of the Mediterranean from the province of Aleppo. Moreover, if you look at the map of the Syrian theater of operations even more closely, you can understand that the conclusion of the de-escalation and coordination agreements between Ankara, Moscow and Tehran pushes the "star-striped" into a complete dead end in terms of the possible separation of the CAA-controlled territory with the 2 sector with the help of the “corridor” passing from the At-Tanf base to Idlib, which only a powerful Turkish army could perfectly contribute to.
Ankara, on the other hand, successfully left the American “cunning planner circle”, and therefore President Recep Erdogan, apparently, was awarded a “black mark” by the British and US special services during the NATO command and staff exercises “Three-Tooth Spear-2017” held from November 8 to November 17. Recall that, by a strange coincidence, during the training of operators of combat information and control systems in the city of Stavanger (Norway), one of the targets of the conditional enemy was a portrait of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Kemal Atatürk, with the name Erdogan. It is also known that the Turkish media citing some historical data do not consider the death of Ataturk natural. Consequently, the situation with the portrait can be considered an unequivocal warning that the alliance is ready to act tough in the event of Ankara’s “drift” in the Russian direction.
As expected, the Turkish regime was not one of a dozen (mostly due to the strategically important location of Turkey between the European and Persian-Asian conventional theaters of war) and decided to show teeth to the alliance: the 40 of the Turkish army were immediately recalled from Stavanger, after which Chief Counselor of Turkish President Yalcin Topcu threatened with possible exit from the structures of the North Atlantic Alliance. And no matter how many different Western military experts claimed to openly bluff from a senior official from Recep Erdogan’s entourage, Brussels took this statement with a noticeable amount of fright, which was manifested in the reaction of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who twice apologized to Erdogan in connection with this incident . This is not surprising, but rather predictable. After all, it is the alliance that is more interested in Turkey. Its withdrawal from the alliance with a completely predictable break in military-technical cooperation will make it absolutely impossible to conduct large-scale naval, ground and aerospace offensive operations by NATO in the Mediterranean, as well as in the South and North Caucasus.
The important point here is that the Georgian Vaziani airbase is located just 65 km from the Georgian-South Ossetian border (both within the long-range Russian MLRS 9K58 Smerch and OTRK Tochka / Iskander, and under the anti-missile umbrella C-300BXXXXXX / 4), and therefore the 400-meter runway today is absolutely unsuitable for the actions of tactical, reconnaissance and military transport aircraft of the OVNS NATO in the event of a major regional conflict. Attempting to use the Georgian territory as an advanced offensive bridgehead to the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation or as a place for deploying ground-based / air-based DER media is a losing option in advance, because all of them will be guaranteed to be destroyed in the first hours of confrontation. It is thanks to Turkey that the NATO SARS and the US Air Force itself have tremendous control capabilities in the Caucasus, as well as in the northern regions of Iran, both by covering the range of tactical aviation and by means of radar detection and tracking systems.
It was this “sore point” of the alliance that Ankara struck after Washington’s threats about the possible cancellation of the Turkish-US 100 contract for the low-profile F-35A tactical fighter jets that sounded in response to the acquisition of the Triumph C-400 anti-aircraft missile systems by Turkey. This is a forced coagulation of the American mobile multifunction radar ANS AN / TPY-2, deployed in the eastern part of Turkey. This object was transferred to the republic in order to control the aerospace over the central and northern territories of Iran at the time of testing or combat use of Iranian tactical ballistic missiles of the “Fateh-110 / 313” type, as well as medium-range ballistic missiles “Sajil-2” , Shahab-3 and Qadr. Meanwhile, given that the mobile radar is not stationary and is located on a two-axle semi-trailer, it is possible to turn it absolutely in any direction, including the north-east one.
Possibilities of the multifunctional radar AN / TPY-2, deployed in Turkey, to control the aerospace space over the European part of Russia (with the power of work in 150 kW)
In the latter case, the AN / TPY-2 GBR RLC operators located at the BM / C41 command and control workstation have the opportunity to observe the aerospace sectors over most of the Southern Military District, including the Republic of Crimea, the Krasnodar Territory and part of the Volga region. Placing this radar, intended for integration into the combat information and control system of the THAAD missile defense system in Bulgaria or Romania, will not give the desired result, because the distance from the strategically important test sites of the Russian Federation will exceed 1,5 thousand kilometers. For example, the deployment of AN / TPY-2 in Turkey makes it possible to reduce the distance to the Russian Defense Ministry’s “Kapustin Yar” test site from 1500 to 1000 km. At such a distance, the Raytheon brainchild with an active X-band phased array is capable of detecting and tracking targets with an EPR near 0,5 м2. Approximately such opportunities gives the North Atlantic Alliance the opportunity to be present on Turkish territory.
Ankara and another classic “ace up its sleeve” for NATO and Washington's Brussels headquarters, played by the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, rescued. Allied relations with Russia and Iran, in any operational-strategic situation that does not satisfy Ankara, may at the most unexpected moment lead to the order of the Turkish General Staff to block the straits: the actions of the United Navy of NATO are in such cases locked down hand and foot ... for the West almost fatal. This is the reason for today's passions around Turkey, which do not settle down on the sidelines of NATO and the Pentagon: Erdogan would be punished for excessive geopolitical arbitrariness, but absolutely impossible, - the unacceptable geographical position of the litter states (Romania, Bulgaria and etc.) does not allow this to be done.
As for the fear of States to supply the low-profile F-35A “Lightning” tactical fighter jets to the Turkish air force, this is not at all surprising. In previous works, we have repeatedly criticized the conclusion of the Russian-Turkish contract for the supply of Turkish armed forces to the C-400 long-range air defense system Triumph due to the likelihood of some critical technologies “leaking” to the West, but given the “drift” of Ankara in the Moscow direction, there are and the positive aspects of this contract, namely, running-in of “Triumphs” against Turkish F-35A, which can be delivered after 2020 of the year. Specialists of our VKS and scientific research institutes will be able to learn first-hand the many important parameters of the most publicized tactical 5 tactical vehicles.
And most importantly, the Americans, as applied to Ankara, in reality have an extremely “narrow field” for a military-political maneuver: refusing to sell Lightnings will not only hurt Lockheed Martin’s image, but also create a lot of unpleasant problems with deployment of missile defense systems - missile defense and aviation of all NATO member countries. Obviously, in the near future, Turkey will continue to remain in the structures of the North Atlantic alliance, but the apparent counterproductiveness of Ankara’s participation in any Western anti-Iranian projects will force the Ottomans to take a completely different path, which (not without the help of Russia and Iran) will make significant corrections in eradicating destructive brought to the Middle East.