Are we close to World War III?

On Dec. 19, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was assassinated in Ankara. While numerous people reminded on social media that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria had directly led to World War I, it was also revealed that high ranking Russian diplomat Petr Polshikov was killed in Moscow. Only a few hours later, two separate terror attacks occurred in Berlin, the heart of Europe, and Zurich, one of the key locations of global capital. The first attack targeted Christians celebrating Christmas, while the second one targeted a mosque.

The following day, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu headed to Moscow in order to attend the Moscow summit at which the future of Syria was to be negotiated. The summit was not postponed despite the assassination and the Moscow Declaration drafted to end the war in Syria was announced.

However, eyes were turned on the states that were not present at the table rather than the attending states.

Last year, the incident of downing the Russian war jet, which was revealed after the July 15 coup attempt to have been done by a FETÖ-linked pilot, also took place just before Russian Foreign Minister’s scheduled visit to Ankara on Nov. 25, 2015. After this unfortunate incident, the Russian minister canceled his visit. Moreover, 25 days after downing the Russian jet, a plane crash that resulted in the heaviest loss in the history of Russia took place. A plane belonging to Russian Metrojet Airlines fell down in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. All 217 passengers and seven crew members were killed. The whole crew and 214 of the passengers were Russian. Soon after the crash, Daesh claimed responsibility for the incident.

Three days after Karlov’s assassination, it was reported that NATO Chief Auditor Yves Chandelon was found dead in his car in Belgium with a shot fired to his head. Although he died on Dec. 16, the incident was kept from the public for nearly a week. Assigned to investigate activities of terrorism financing and money laundering, Chandelon’s body was found 140 kilometers away from his office and 100 kilometers away from his home. The prosecutor’s office examining the case announced that it was a suicide and Chandelon’s family agreed on that. The family could not be contacted for further comments.

Three days ago, a Tupolev Tu-154 jetliner of the Russian Defense Ministry heading from Sochi to Latakia crashed into sea shortly after taking off. All 92 people on board, including 65 musicians from the Red Army Choir, journalists and military officers, were killed. One of the killed officers was high ranking Russian commander Vladimir Ivanovsky. It turned out that Ivanovsky was the commander of the police squadron recently sent by Russia to be permanent in Aleppo and the passengers on board were to attend the Aleppo celebration in Syria.

Also lately, the head of Russian oil giant Rosneft’s offices Oleg Erovinkin was found dead in his car. It must be considered that Qatar and Switzerland-based Glencore bought a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft in early December in return for $11 billion and provided currency to Russia. Plus, as I am writing these words, the news agencies have started to report that the Russian embassy in Damascus has been shelled twice.

I suppose it would not be wrong to argue that Syria is at the center of all these incidents. We might or might not learn the true identities of the perpetrators, but it is still possible to infer that there is a growing number of covert attacks against Russia.

Meanwhile, we have seen that our “ally” U.S. has militarized the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria and approved the militarization of the People’s Mobilization Forces (al-Hashd al-Shaabi) in Iraq. Even though it was claimed that the U.S. did not provide any weapon aid to the YPG at a press statement issued by the U.S. Embassy to Ankara that fulminated against Turkish media, even taking a quick glance at the foreign press verifies that the U.S. provided not only intelligence and air support to the YPG, but also military and logistic aid. It is enough to look at news reports titled “YPG and US airdrop” that have been released since last year. Also, it must be noted that the U.S. has sent no air support to Turkey, which is a member of the U.S.-led coalition against Daesh, in its harsh fight in al-Bab.

While some people are straining every nerve to break out World War III, Turkey has been in search of new allies that would pay regard to the country’s national security and interests.


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