How is this not World War III?

Updated 3:16 PM EST, Wed November 25, 2015
Russian warplane goes down in Syria's northwestern town of Bayirbucak, near the Turkish border, on November 24, 2015.
Fatih Akta/Anadolu/Getty Images
Russian warplane goes down in Syria's northwestern town of Bayirbucak, near the Turkish border, on November 24, 2015.
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Story highlights

Frida Ghitis: Turkish forces shot down Russian plane, escalating a Syria-rooted conflict increasingly going global

She says it's getting hard to avoid analogies to World War I -- strange bedfellows, conflicting agendas, alliances of convenience

Editor’s Note: Frida Ghitis is a world affairs columnist for The Miami Herald and World Politics Review, and a former CNN producer and correspondent. Follow her @FridaGhitis. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) —  

Turkish forces shot down a Russian plane near the Turkish-Syrian border on Tuesday, dangerously escalating a conflict that is expanding ever more rapidly and unpredictably.

Take a step back and look at what Syria’s war has wrought: Only days after the Paris attacks – one of the worst terrorist attacks on European soil since World War II – and with the unofficial capital of the European Union, Brussels, still under a partial lockdown, a member of NATO downed a Russia fighter jet.

Turkey won’t apologize for downing Russian warplane, Erdogan says

If this had occurred during the Cold War, we would be bracing for the possibility of a nuclear war. Thankfully, that conflict is over. Instead of dialing nuclear codes, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council while NATO summoned its own emergency meeting.