Friday, 22 June 2012

Syrian Anti-Aircraft Guns Drop Turkish Fighter in Sea

Local Editor
Syria drops Turkish fighter jet in the Mediterranean Sea Media sources confirmed that the Syrian anti-aircraft guns shot down a Turkish military jet in the sea off Ras Al-Baseet, and hit another.
Turkish state television said Friday that one of its air force military jets crashed in the Syrian territorial waters, while Turkish authorities announced it had lost contact with the F4 fighter when it was flying over the sea near the south eastern shores of the country.

Turkey Defense Ministry stated that two pilots were aboard the Turkish fighter, pointing to the start of search and rescue operations in the place.
CNN channel announced as well that the pilots were found alive in the Mediterranean Sea at a distance of 8 miles from the Syrian waters. However, any official source didn’t confirm the news.
While traveling back from a visit in Brazil, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a crisis meeting in Ankara after the fighter disappearance.

Anatolia news agency reported that Chief of Staff Gen. Necdet Ozil, Interior Minister Idriss Naeem Shahin, Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan will join the meeting.

Earlier on Friday, Turkish General Staff has announced it had lost contact with the fighter jet "F-4", which took off from the "Aarkhach" air base in the province of Malatya southeast Turkey, and disappeared from radar monitors about 12:00 pm local time over the Mediterranean Sea south-east of Khatay region adjacent to the Syrian border.

The source said on its online website that the search did not give any fruit yet.
For its part, Lebanese Al-Jadeed network reported that the fighter took off from its air base at 10.30 am, and that contact has been lost after an hour and a half, which raises the possibility that it has been crashed.

Turkish military helicopters went immediately to the place and start search and rescue efforts.

’Crisis Meeting’ in Turkey after Losing Contact with Military Jet near Syria

Local Editor

Turkish fighter jetThe Turkish army said Friday it lost radar and radio contact with one of its aircraft on the Mediterranean near neighboring Syria.

The plane took off from Malatya airbase in the southeast at 07:30 GMT and lost communication with the base at 08:58 GMT in the southwest of the Hatay province bordering Syria, said an online statement.
"Search and rescue efforts have started immediately," it said adding that it was not immediately clear if the plane crashed or if there were casualties.

Malatya governor Ulvi Saran told the Anatolia news agency that it was a F-4 plane with two pilots onboard, without elaborating further.
"We have no information right now about the fate of the plane. We are following the developments," he said.

Meanwhile, AFP reported that a crisis meeting is to be held in Turkey after the military plane disappeared near Syria.

Turkish Plane Reported Shot Down in Syrian Airspace

My PhotoTurkish Plane Reported Shot Down in Syrian Airspace
by Stephen Lendman
On June 22, Reuters headlined "Turkish jet downed by Syria air defenses: report," saying:
According to Lebanon's Al-Manar television, "Syrian air defenses shot down a Turkish military aircraft, quoting Syrian security sources."
Reportedly it was an F-4 Phantom fighter bomber. First introduced in 1960, McDonnell Aircraft produced it. It was used extensively during the Vietnam war. More advanced aircraft replaced it long ago.
A pilot and navigator were on board.
Turkey regularly patrols airspace close to Syria's border.
Al-Manar headlined "Crisis Meeting in Turkey after Losing Contact with Military Jet near Syria," saying:
Turkey's military said it "lost radio contact with one of its aircraft on the Mediterranean near neighboring Syria."
At 7:30 GMT, the plane left Malatya airbase. At 8:58GMT, communication was lost "in the southwest of the Hatay province bordering Syria...."
Search and rescue efforts began. It's unconfirmed officially if the plane crashed or was shot down. Its pilot and navigator were reported unharmed.
"Malatya governor Ulvi Saran told the Anatolia news agency that it was a F-4 plane with two pilots onboard...."
In response to the incident, AFP said Turkey convened a crisis meeting.
Other reports are circulating. Russia Today ( said Syria apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan for downing its aircraft.
Turkey's Hurrieyet daily reported the same story. It headlined "Syria apologizes for taking down Turkish warplane: Turkish PM," saying:
"Eyewitnesses in the northern Syrian town of Latakia told BBC Arabic that Syrian air defences shot down an unidentified aircraft near the town of Ras al-Baseet."
An "official Turkish source" said Syrian forces shot it down.
Early Friday, the plane crashed into Syrian waters. A missile reportedly destroyed it. Hurriyet said Turkish helicopters rescued two crew members.
Other reports suggest they were taken captive.
"Unconfirmed reports (said) Syrian defense forces had been shooting at two foreign planes."
Local correspondent Ihab Sultan told Russia Today (
"Witnesses spotted two jets flying in from Turkish territory. One of the planes went down in Syria’s territorial waters, while the other one made off."
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile provocatively said "Syrian anti air defenses shot the plane down in an ambush calculated to retaliate for the defection of the Syrian Air Force pilot Col. Hassan Maray al-Hamadeh to Jordan a day earlier with his MiG-21 warplane."
"Officials in Damascus are certain his defection was organized by US and Turkish intelligence."
At 16:00 local time, two Turkish military aircraft entered Syrian airspace over Latakia. They were "lying low in threatening formation." One was struck and destroyed. The other escaped.
Dam Press and other Syrian news agencies "speculated that the intruders were either Turkish or Israeli."
"Since Thursday, Syria’s entire air fleet has been grounded while its spy agencies screen flight personnel for more potential defectors."
Turkey's Today's Zaman headlined "Report: Syria shoots down Turkish warplane."
It published an earlier Reuters report.
Turkey's a NATO member. It could invoke NATO Charter Articles 4 or 5.

Article 4 calls for members to "consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any" is threatened.
Article 5 considers an armed attack (real or otherwise) against one or more members, an attack against all, and calls for collective self-defense.
Whether the incident was accidental or provocative remains to be determined. Given ongoing crisis conditions and tense Turkish/Syrian relations, events going forward bear watching.
Wars begin for less.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
posted by Steve Lendman @ 10:06 AM

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