via Al Jazeera
Moscow's retaliation is not just about severing economic and diplomatic ties. It is pursuing a policy that could tie Turkey's hands in Syria.Then this.
Ankara never received international backing for a safe zone across its border, but Russia has now ruled that out.
The deployment of S-400 anti-air missiles means Russia has effectively imposed a no-fly zone over Syria.
And now, Moscow seems to be moving closer to a group that has been the US-led coalition's main ground force in Syria - a group which Turkey, itself a member of that coalition, calls "terrorists".
The Syrian Kurdish forces (YPG) is a US-backed Kurdish group that has pushed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) back from areas along the border with Turkey.
In an attempt to change the solely "Kurdish face" of anti-ISIL ground troops, it aligned with some Arab brigades to form "the Syria Democratic Forces" (SDF).
No doubt a further strengthened YPG will anger Turkey, which has long feared that Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria would stir up similar sentiments among its own Kurdish population.
The rules may now have changed. The YPG has still not pushed west of the Euphrates, but along with its allies, and with the help of Russian strikes, the SDF are threatening Turkey-backed opposition groups in another key border crossing, Kilis, west of Jarablous.Even I saw this coming. The Kurds have been jerked around by the US for decades now. We turn a blind eye to Turkish atrocities committed against them and promise the moon while basically delivering nothing.
Losing control of the northern countryside of Aleppo would be a setback for the opposition. Turkey, too, would lose influence.
But Russian President Vladim Putin seems to be eyeing an even bigger victory. He called on the Assad government and the political wing of the YPG to unite. This has still not happened - at least not officially.
But Syrian Kurdish officials have said they are ready to work with anyone fighting ISIL, and anyone who works for a united, secular and democratic Syria.
Such an alliance would change the battlefield and the balance of power on the ground.
Yet time after time they've demonstrated that they're the best fighters against ISIS (in my opinion) and now it appears that Russia is about to try to get them into their camp.
Could you blame them for going for it? Russia will supply them with weapons and aid them to get that slice of Syria and Iraq that they so desperately want.
The bonus? It will scare the shit outta Turkey. The extra juicy bonus? It will be a finger in the face of Obama, the State Dept and Pentagon. The orgasmic part? This one simple move will have the US losing the Kurds, and also the war against Assad.
If the Russians can bring the Kurds into its sphere then it takes an effective group of fighters off the board when it comes to toppling Assad.
The Russians are outsmarting our guys again. The pathetic thing is that even a small time blogger could see this coming.