Turkey had continued shelling Syria, using as a pretext the charge that Syrian forces had launched mortars into Turkey a week earlier. To this day it is unclear who launched the mortars. It might well have been the counter-revolutionary rebels that the NATO countries and the Gulf oil monarchies have been arming all along.
Turkey claimed there were weapons aboard the airliner, along with 17 Russian and 18 Syrian passengers, whose lives were endangered by the grounding. As of now Turkey has shown no evidence that weapons were aboard, nor did it in any case have the right to ground an airliner flying on a regular air lane. It underlines the seriousness of the war threat that Turkey risked its important trade and diplomatic relationships with Russia to make this aggressive move.
It is important to look at who are the forces now threatening to intervene in Syria. The NATO powers are the former colonialist powers that carved up Africa and Asia, and dominated Latin America. Even the Netherlands -- where Rasmussen is from -- held Indonesia as a colony until after World War II. They still monopolize military and economic power in the world, they completely dominate the media and their 1% superrich are the exploiters of humanity. And they are making war to make new colonies out of sovereign states, with the U.S. leading the pack in the new colonial wars.
While they pretend to be promoting "democracies," NATO's main allies in the Middle East are monarchies Jordanian monarchy. Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been financing the Syrian counterrevolution with their ruling family's oil billions. NATO's front line is militarist Turkey, whose troops will supply the main cannon fodder for the war against Syria.
Each week the civil war in Syria grows closer to a regional war into which all the NATO powers will jump.
Those anti-war forces that exist in the United States and the other NATO powers have the following responsibilities: to refuse to be swept up in the war propaganda that demonizes Syria and its leader; to argue and educate others to understand that people in their countries can only lose from an intervention against Syria; and to mobilize to stop the aggression from NATO by whatever steps are possible.