A retired US Army General said that Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane over Syria has proven that the country is a liability to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and must be “ousted” from the Western military alliance.
Paul Vallely, US Army Major General (Ret.) said the shooting down of a Russian aircraft near the Syrian border was in line with Ankara’s struggle to establish itself as a “dominant” power and their action will likely jeopardize the fragile diplomatic effort to reach a peaceful settlement in Syria
Press TV reports: “I think NATO, if they have any resolve, they would oust Turkey out of NATO because they are not cooperating against ISIL, they are not cooperating at all with some of the forces inside of Syria, and they want to see [Syrian President Bashar] Assad removed or replaced by another government,” the retired General told Russia’s RT.
Vallely, who served in the Vietnam War and retired in 1993 as Deputy Commanding General, Pacific Command, said Turkey’s “unilateral action” in downing the Russian jet was also a signal to NATO, meaning that despite being a member, they would not refrain from pursuing their own interests when necessary.
“They have been that way for a long time; they are a part of it [NATO], but yet they are not,” he said.
The former US Army commander further described Turkey as an internal threat to NATO, who “will only cooperate when they have to and they will get as much out of NATO as they can” in terms of weapons and tactics.
On Tuesday, Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer jet, claiming the aircraft had repeatedly violated its air space.
Vallely said Turkey is poised to take more provocative measures in near future.
Vallely added that despite the downing of the jet, Russia’s president Putin still controlled the chessboard because of his strong military presence in Syria.