Is Russia in the early stages of a hybrid war with Turkey and NATO?

Institute for the Study of War:
Russia is waging a multi-front campaign against Turkey in order to weaken NATO in line with its strategic objectives. The use of a high-end Soviet-era MANPADS against a Turkish helicopter in southeastern Turkey on May 13, 2016 could indicate that Russia is providing meaningful military support to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) insurgency. The incident, if indeed a Russian escalation, is yet another Russian infringement of a sovereign NATO partner. Russia targeted the same pressure point by overflying Turkey with combat aircraft in November 2015, leading Turkish President Recep Erdogan to authorize the shoot down of a Russian plane. The U.S. rushed to de-escalate rather than backing Turkey in November, a signal that Erdogan does not have unequivocal NATO support. The provision of military support to the PKK thus offers Russia a surgical option to escalate against Turkey without provoking a response from the U.S. and NATO, especially because U.S. strategy against ISIS relies upon the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which has strong links to the PKK. It is a dangerous possibility that Russia will cultivate its relationship with the PKK in ways that undermine the U.S. and Turkey, even if the recent MANPADS event does not represent this inflection.
There is much more.

Turkey has been a lousy NATO ally when it comes to dealing with radical Islam in general and ISIL in particular.  When it declared its intent to do something about ISL it attacked the Kurds instead.  The Russians are taking advantage of this Turkish perfidy.  I do not expect the Obama administration to do much of anything about it at this point.


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