by Lady Michelle Jennifer Santos
30 November 2015 (TSR) – Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu admitted last Wednesday that he personally gave the order to shoot down to his AK Party.
On November 24, a Russian Su-24M Fencer bomber was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syrian territory. One of the two Su-24 pilots was killed by fire from the ground after ejecting from the plane.
One of the pilots has been confirmed dead by Russian authorities, shot by rebel ground units after ejecting. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a “stab in the back, carried out against us by accomplices of terrorists.”
Turkey has cited airspace violations as its justification for shooting down a Russian Su-24 bomber on Tuesday. However, this is a contradiction to Erdogan’s previous statement according to a Sputnik report.
Three years ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan specifically stated that such actions should “never be a pretext for an attack.”
In 2012, Ankara accused Syria of shooting down a Turkish F-4 Phantom. That plane crash-landed in the Mediterranean after veering into Syrian airspace. In response, an outraged Erdogan lambasted the Syrian military for acting in haste, the report said,
“A short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack,” he told Parliament at the time.
Davutoglu told journalists on 7 October that the incident of a Russian jet crossing Turkish airspace has not damaged relations between the countries.
However, both Davutoglu and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is the commander in chief of the nation’s armed forces, continued to defend the decision to shoot down the Russian plane saying that his country had the right to defend its national airspace and insisting that the Su-24 had made an incursion into Turkish territory and was downed while still inside Turkey’s airspace.
According to a leaked letter written to the UN Security Council by the Turkish Ambassador, Turkey’s military justified the shooting down of a Russian bomber by claiming that the aircraft had entered Turkish airspace for 17 seconds.
“Despite all the warnings, we had had to destroy the aircraft” Davutoglu told a meeting of his AK party.
“The Turkish Armed Forces carried out orders given by me personally”, he said in the video below.
NATO announced that the organization agreed with Turkey’s claim and pledged to stand in solidarity with Ankara.
“The Allied assessments we have got from several Allies during the day are consistent with information we have been provided with from Turkey,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporter at press conference. “So the information we have from other Allies is consistent with what we have got from Turkey.”
“What we are calling for now is calm and de-escalation,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday. “Diplomacy and de-escalation are important to resolve this question.”
However, behind closed doors, NATO members criticised Turkey’s actions as reckless.
The United States, however, seems to be privately disagreeing with Ankara’s assessment believing that the Russian jet shot down by Turkey on Tuesday was hit inside Syrian airspace after a brief incursion into Turkish airspace, according to top US official who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
No Burden of Proof
The Turkish General Staff denied releasing a map nor any audio recording allegedly detailing the Russian aircraft’s course before it was shot down because they don’t exist.
While authorities in Ankara have insisted that it shot down the Russian Su-24 bomber after the aircraft entered Turkish airspace, the Russian Defense Ministry has released video proving that the plane never left Syrian airspace.
The video below contradicts Turkey’s accusation. According to the flight data released by Russian Ministry of Defense, it shows that the Su-24s never entered Turkey, and were attacked while performing legitimate maneuvers over Syria.
“Representatives of the Turkish General Staff have stated that they did not share such material with the media. If so, this confirms yet again that the recordings of the Turkish pilots’ contacts with our crew that emerged today are another fake,” Maj. Gen. Konashenkov told reporters according to Sputnik.
Turkey’s Shooting Was Pre-Planned Ambush
Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jets, Su-24M and Su-34 bombers, with the support of Su-30 Flanker jets, commenced precision airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Syrian minister claimed that Turkish Air Force jets had downed a Su-24 bomber because Russian Aerospace Forces had destroyed over 1,000 fuel tankers carrying illegal ISIL oil.
“Turkey decided to down a Russian bomber because it continues to patronize the terrorists. The other reason is the fact that in five days Russian airstrikes destroyed over 1,000 tank trucks carrying stolen oil from Syria to Turkey.” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said.
Meanwhile, Lavrov said that it was not a coincidence that Turkey started to worry after Russia had started to bomb ISIL convoys of fuel tankers with illegal oil.
“They [Turkish authorities] carefully protect any information about their smuggling deals. It can be proved with the fact that recently two Turkish journalists were arrested for reporting about illegal arms supply to ISIL from Turkey.” Lavrov said.
Two prominent journalists, daily Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dundar and Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gul, on Nov. 26 were arrested on charges of collecting and revealing secret documents for espionage and supporting of an armed terrorist organization.
The accusations against Dündar and Gül were based on reports in Cumhuriyet regarding the Syria-bound M?T trucks.
On March 27, 2014, just days before local elections were held on March 30, Turkey banned YouTube after the Google-owned video-sharing website was used to spread damaging leaked audio files from a state security meeting debating possible military action in Syria that included false-flag attacks on Turkish soldiers.
This recording revealed a top secret conversation between Davutoglu, Fidan, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and then-Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ya?ar Guler.
In the leaked recording, Intelligence chief Hakan Fidan discussed with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Deputy Chief of Staff Yasar Guler and other officials a possible operation to secure the tomb of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, in an area of northern Syria largely controlled by militant Islamists.
Russian President Putin said that the US leaked the flight path to Turkish authorities.
The data already available supports the Russian assertion that the Turkish shoot-down was, as Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted, an “ambush” that had been carefully prepared in advance according to an analysis.
The central Turkish claim that its F-16 pilots had warned the two Russian aircraft 10 times during a period of five minutes actually is the primary clue that Turkey was not telling the truth about the shoot-down, it said.
The Russian Su-24 “Fencer” jet fighter, which is comparable to the US F111, is capable of a speed of 960 miles per hour at high altitude, but at low altitude its cruising speed is around 870 mph, or about 13 miles per minute. The navigator of the second plane confirmed after his rescue that the Su-24s were flying at cruising speed during the flight, explained the writer.
Wikileaks shed a light on the mathematical logic of Turkey’s claims:
Journalists: Learn to do basic maths. Look at Turkey’s statement to UN: 1.15 miles / 17 seconds x 60 x 60 = 243 miles/hour = 391 km/hour — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 24, 2015
To which a critic from Copenhagen tweeted in response:
Turkish fighter jets were warned about Russian warplanes beforehand and waited in ambush prior to the attack according to Russian officials. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday that the terrorists hunting down the air navigator from the downed Su-24 in Syria were equipped with sophisticated direction finder equipment. Russia’s military attache in Ankara visited the Turkish Armed Forces General Staff on Wednesday to obtain documents “of alleged radio exchanges between the Turkish F-16 fighter crew with the Russian Su-24 bomber pilots,” the report said. “Our military representative was notified that it would be impossible to pass any materials relating to the November 23 attack,” Konashenkov said. Turkish warplanes made an ambush for the Russian Su-24M bombers, otherwise they would not have had enough time to take off from an airbase and reach the area, Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev tweeted on Friday:
Turkey had been tracking the Russian Su-24 for 34 minutes before shooting it down, Bondarev said.
“The radar surveillance data confirms that two F-16 fighter jets were patrolling the flight zone for an hour an 45 minutes at an altitude of 2,400 meters [some 7,800 feet], which speaks of a deliberate action and their readiness to attack from an ambush over the Turkish territory,” Bondarev told reporters in Moscow as Sputnik revealed.
According to Bondarev, the Russian pilots have not received any warnings from the Turkish pilots on the designated radio frequency.?? The Turkish plane spent 40 seconds in the Syrian airspace, entering it for two kilometers, the commander said.
“According to radar tracking data, it was the Turkish warplane that crossed into the Syrian airspace for about 40 seconds to a depth of 2 kilometers [6,560 feet], while the Russian fighter-bomber never violated the Turkish border”, he said.
Bondarev added that a Turkish F-16 fighter jet was guided to its intended target from the ground and launched an air-to-air missile while the Russian warplane was readying to carry out a second attack on terrorist positions.
“The method of guidance of F-16 aircraft into effective engagement zone directly, but not along the pursuit course curve shows that the fighter jet was directed from a ground control station,” Bondarev told reporters according to Sputnik.
It is the only way how the Islamic State terrorists knew where and when to “get that exclusive footage” according to Bondarev.
“Close analysis of both the Turkish and Russian images of the radar path of the Russian jets indicates that the earliest point at which either of the Russian planes was on a path that might have been interpreted as taking it into Turkish airspace was roughly 16 miles from the Turkish border – meaning that it was only a minute and 20 seconds away from the border, according to the analysis.
Furthermore according to both versions of the flight path, five minutes before the shoot-down the Russian planes would have been flying eastward – away from the Turkish border, it said. The writer continues,
If the Turkish pilots actually began warning the Russian jets five minutes before the shoot-down, therefore, they were doing so long before the planes were even headed in the general direction of the small projection of the Turkish border in Northern Latakia province.
In order to carry out the strike, in fact, the Turkish pilots would have had to be in the air already and prepared to strike as soon as they knew the Russian aircraft were airborne.
The evidence from the Turkish authorities themselves thus leaves little room for doubt that the decision to shoot down the Russian jet was made before the Russian jets even began their flight.
No more BFF
While Turkey continues to defend its claims and trying to fix bilateral relations, Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses to take any calls from President Erdogan.
Meanwhile, Moscow has deployed its newest S-400 air defense anti-aircraft missile system to Khmeimim in Syria as part of a security boost following the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey earlier this week.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said there was previously no need for such measures, because “no-one imagined the Russian aircraft could be in danger. Russia would’ve brought S-400s to Syria a long time ago to protect its warplanes, if it entertained the possibility of a traitorous backstab,” Russia Today reported.
Putin reiterated, however, that the S-400 systems are not targeting Russia’s partners, “with whom we fight terrorists in Syria together.”
The S-400 is the most advanced anti-aircraft defense system in Russia, and is unparalleled in the world, RT reported.
It’s designed to ensure air defense using long- and medium-range missiles that can hit aerial targets, including tactical and strategic aircraft as well as ballistic and cruise missiles, at ranges of up to 400 kilometers.
The system consists of a set of radars, missile launchers and command posts, and is operated solely by the Russian military.
Unlike the overhyped US Patriot missile that turned out to be a dud in battle, the S-400 was designed to create the daddy of Iron Domes.
China bought the same superior anti-air missile defense.
In November 2014 Moscow and Beijing inked a $3 billion agreement for the supply of six battalions of S-400 anti-aircraft/anti-missile systems that will significantly boost China’s air defence capability against the US and its allies in the Western Pacific.
“With a tracking range of 600 km and the ability to hit targets 400 km away at a blistering speed of 17,000 km an hour – faster than any existing aircraft–the S-400 is a truly scary weapon if you are facing its business end”, according to a Russia & India Report.
“Given its extremely long range and effective electronic warfare capabilities, the S-400 is a game-changing system that challenges current military capabilities at the operational level of war,” Paul Giarra, president, Global Strategies and Transformation, told Defense News.
The S-400 will have the “effect of turning a defensive system into an offensive system, and extend China’s A2/AD (anti-access/area-denial) umbrella over the territory of American allies and the high seas,” he said.