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As Common Sense Takes a Holiday, Tensions Mount in the Middle East | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

As Common Sense Takes a Holiday, Tensions Mount in the Middle East

“Panic, Chaos, Disorder…My work here is done.”

The rising tensions between Russia and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean reminded me of a button I used to wear on my vest. To put it bluntly, American meddling has taken a bad situation and made it worse. The Syrian problem – which we should never have gotten involved with – has gotten out of hand. Russia and Iran support Assad and have been taking out rebels against him. Those rebels were supported by American money, equipment and training.

Turkey shoots down a Russian jet. Both sides scream that the other is supporting ISIS and buying oil from the terrorist group. Neither country is willing to put forward the proof of those allegations, but it makes for great headlines. This is historically admirable restraint from two countries with a long record of hostility.

Now, Russia has fired on a Turkish fishing boat. That is the one part of this whole situation that I do understand. The Russian ship was on patrol in the Aegean Sea when a small Turkish-flagged vessel ignored radio commands and maintained a “collision course” with the destroyer. The destroyer opened fire with small arms until the fishing vessel turned away.

Turkish Boat
The Turkish fishing boat that took fire from the Russians

“We were not aware that they had fired shots at us,” Muzaffer Gecici, captain of the fishing boat, said to the BBC. “We have video footage and we have handed this to the coastguard. We didn’t even know it was a Russian ship.”

As opposed to the accidental shooting down of the Russian SU-24, no one was injured in this incident. Given the circumstance behind the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, firing on an unresponsive vessel that could potentially harm your ship is a reasonable response to the incident.

But, it highlights the chaos that is going on around Syria. There are too many different militaries with too many different objectives in a small area. Accidents happen and the next one could be a lot worse. If the next one occurs between Turkey and Russia, the restraint that both countries have shown will probably not prevent an escalation.

Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United States aren’t the only countries with forces in the area. Not counting Syria and ISIS, of course, France, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Cuba, North Korea and many other countries have forces in the area. Many of the forces aren’t working together and information sharing is not happening.

Everyone is trying to push their own agenda and the potential for escalation grows. The one group that profits from it is ISIS. Each incident weakens the resolve of those fighting against the terrorists and gives them a small victory to parade in front of the West.

It’s past time to leave. After all, our work here is done.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
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