Ex-CIA agent, Bob Baer, has said the situation in the Middle East, including the mounting tension between Russia and Turkey, is looking like the beginning of World War III.
“This mosaic in the Middle East of conflict is getting out of control,” the former CIA agent told CNN. “It’s not just Russia and Turkey, it’s Iran and Saudi Arabia. It is expanding rather than contracting, and nobody has a strategic plan.”
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Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin said that he suspects the United States leaked information about the flight path of the doomed Su-24 flight to Turkey – hinting that the downing of the plane was a deliberate act of war.
Baer said that Putin is likely to retaliate to the Turkish shooting down of the Russian Su-24 warplane.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has announced expansive economic sanctions against Turkey and Russia’s military shut down all communication channels with the Turkish military, including a “hot line” to help avoid air incidents.
Turkey remains intransigent on the shoot down and has vowed to respond if Russia targets its planes violating Syrian airspace.
On Thursday Moscow deployed its advanced S-400 air defense system in Syria. The weapon will be used to protect the Russian Hmeimim airbase in Latakia. The Russian defense ministry posted a video of the deployment on its Facebook page.
Baer said we should expect Putin to respond to provocations by Turkey. “I wouldn’t put it past him. He’s not going to back down,” he said.
“That’s the way he framed this conflict,” Baer said. “The chances of this escalating from here without deconfliction of any sort are pretty good.”