It would appear that Ankara is seeking to justify some form of military response or engagement with Damascus, and is being restrained from doing so by the United States. This conforms to the conventional wisdom that President Obama will not stop outwardly seeking a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis until after the election in November.
Let’s assume Erdogan is telling the truth and the F-4 was in international airspace when it was shot down. Turkey would be within its rights to respond, and it would therefore be likely that someone in the Obama administration would leak a story to a mainstream broadsheet not typically friendly to either the American or Turkish administrations in order to rob the latter of a casus belli.
If Erdogan is lying, and the US intelligence sources are correct, then Turkey was foolishly tempting this sort of confrontation in the first place, not to mention putting two of its own pilots at lethal risk. Ankara’s furious response might have been planned all along, despite then falling foul of the White House's own sensitive timetable.
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