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27 November 2015


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"The Turkish army has suspended flights over Syria as part of an ongoing joint military campaign with the United States against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after it shot down a Russian jetfighter, sparking an unprecedented crisis between Ankara and Moscow. "


As the results of the shoot down of the Russian SU-24 and the murder of it's pilot did not have the intended effect,

Turkey has self imposed a no fly zone for the Turkish Airforce over Syria and the Syrian Turkish border areas, for now.


"conniving to try to ensure that ISIS remains in being at least until the Assad regime is destroyed."

This already is manifestly the case insofar as al-Nusra/al-Qaeda is concerned. It has all but formally been labeled a "good guy" - "moderate rebels."


Could this not simply be that Erdogan took advantage of the Russia/US de-conflicting protocol vs. the US having been complicit in the shoot down? Admitting getting taken on this by Erdogan would be challenging for Obama in many respects. Perhaps those familiar with how such de-conflicting processes work could comment?

And I also wonder who is briefing/advising Obama on the shoot-down events? He appears to have a poor grasp of what is going on and simply staying "on script" does not appear to be helping his image. Perhaps his briefings and advice are provided by those who have learned to pass along what Obama wants to hear...



There is one more angle of the downing of the Russian jet which I find to be quite underreported. Though the claims that Russia was targeting "moderate rebels" in the Turkmen Mountains have already taken a hit by the fact that these moderate rebels shot dead one ejected Russian pilot in the air and were proud of this warcrime, there exist more information what kind of "moderate rebels" are operating there.

For example, a "Syrian rebel group" called Ansar Al-Sham proudly published a video of how they with there friends were able to recover an important mountain position in the region where and on the same day when the Russian jet was shot down:


Ansar Al-Sham is a hardcore jihadi outfit led by an Afghan jihadi veteran and a guy calling himself Abu Musa, the Chechen, so presumably a Russian terrorist.

And then, there is this: Zaid Benjamin, Washington Correspondent of Radio Sawa, an arabic language media service publicly funded by the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the U.S. Congress, just reported on Twitter:

#سوريا | #جبهة_النصرة تنشر صور لمقاتليها في منطقة #جبل_التركمان في محافظة #اللاذقية المستهدفة من قبل #روسيا.

Source: https://twitter.com/zaidbenjamin/status/670310605979557888

Translation: Syria | Jabhat Al Nusra published pictures of its fighters in the area in Jabal Turkmen, Latakia province, being targeted by Russia.

So, media publicly financed by US Congress reports that Russia is targeting Al Qaeda terrorists in the region where the Russian jet was shot down. Since this information is out in the open, reported by media publicly financed by US taxpayers, it's hard to imagine US officials and US mass media don't know this. But comments from US officials and US mass media don't mention this fact.

alba etie

This is beyond scary . What hard evidence do we have of the complicity of the USG in the downing of the Russian aircraft by Erdogan ?


"My concern now is that Two narcissists, Presidents Obama and Erdogan, are going to drag us into WWIII."
Chilling indeed.
A comment by Wend on Saker makes an interesting point: "The faces of men who are fighting for ISIS show desperate and poor people. These people are not the main enemy of the world. I wonder how many of these desperate, manipulated Muslims have any idea what they really are – ISIS, aka Israeli Secret Intelligence Service."


Tom McInerney has a problem with this, but not the invasion of Iraq?

Medicine Man

I wonder if Obama could actually be impeached and if agitating for a war with a non-hostile nuclear power clears the bar.


here's a good article that conveys a strategic motive for what sure looks like insanity on the outside - http://tinyurl.com/hnkcnhl

Ishmael Zechariah

Some random comments:
1- http://journal-neo.org/2015/06/09/logistics-101-where-does-isis-get-its-guns/
2-Most Kemalist Turks, and I among them, think that tayyip is a ziocon operation.
3-The Syrian Turkoman deny getting any weapons from tayyip. They state that those weapons were sent to the liver eaters. This is reported in all opposition newspapers.
4-tayyip, himself, wrote the complaint that was used to jail the two journalists who had previously disclosed the arms shipments. The tinpot crook is now having the journalist who disclosed the complaint with his signature prosecuted for violating the privacy of the "investigation". Reminds me of past slogans about"Democracy", "Mild Islam (lactose free kind)" and "defang the Turkish generals". Well, enjoy!
Ishmael Zechariah

Ghost ship

The Turks claimed that there had been numerous violations of Turkish airspace by Russian aircraft. From what I can recall, there were a couple of incidents shortly after the Russian arrived that were reported in the media but no reports of any further violations in the media and the Turks haven't produced a log of the violations. Have the Americans or British a record of all the violations as I would have thought they would have an interest in ensuring there was no possibility of conflict between the Russians and Turks, so if there had been numerous violations by the Russians of Turkish airspace someone from Washington would have been an anonymous source in the media to embarrass the Russians.

Why did the two Turkish aircraft take off from Diyarbakir air base. It's about 280 miles from the conflict site. It would make more sense for the aircraft to fly from Incirlik which is only eighty miles away. Did the Turks do this because they were worried that US forces at Incirlik might work out what the Turks were up to and tell them what to do?

When I saw the Russian diagrams, they reminded me of the cab rank system used by the British for close air support over Normandy where the aircraft is airborne and flying around a certain location so that it can fly at short notice to hit what might be a fleeting target. If you know where the forward air controllers are, you know where the aircraft are going to be at some point in the operation but you can not if you are just tracking the aircraft because it's just flying around a point on a map. So did the Turks orchestrate the appearance of the Turkmen rebels to draw the Russian aircraft in - it would explain the quick appearance of the video of the shooting down as the rebels and their controllers would know where the aircraft were coming from (via Turkish radar) and know where the target was and thus could pick the best location for the interception. It seems pretty obvious to me from this that the Turks used the flight information supplied by the Russians to set this up but may have thought that Syrian aircraft were involved but I see no reason yet to think the USAF was part of a conspiracy. But as usual, it'll be the cover up that causes problems.

BTW, if Erdogan was really concerned about the Turkmen (the reason he claimed the Turkish air force got involved) he would have stopped using them a cannon fodder when the Russian arrived in Syria, better yet, he wouldn't have got them involved in the fighting in the first place.


Earlier today in the Russian cities of Khabarovsk and Rostov mourning ceremonies took place for the SU24 Pilot LC Oleg Peshkov, and a 29 year old Russian Marine Pozynicha Alexander from the 810th Brigade who lost his life in the SU24 rescue attempt. Pozynicha Alexander was awarded the Order of Courage (posthumously) and the award was presented to his widow.


Colonel, TTG, Walrus,

Russian press reports according to experts within the Russian Defense Ministry based on the data from the Turk fighter, concluded the Turk fighter violated the border into Syria for its attack upon the Russian SU24.

Since the beginning of November, the Russians have recorded more than 50 violations of Greece airspace by the Turks.


Extracts from Russian commentary (http://regnum.ru/news/polit/2021108.html). My translation.
On November 24, a U.S. Air Force Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS took off from an air base in Preveza in Greece. The second E-3A Saudi Air Force took off from an airbase Riyadh. Both aircraft carried out one common task - to determine the exact locations of Russia’s aircraft. They are also chose the "victim."
The American E-3A was to determine the status of weapon control radar of the Su-24M2, to check whether it was in the state of search or seizure or had already completed and acquired its target, producing data for firing. It is known that AWACS can control the actions of aircraft in combat and transmit avionics and aircraft information for the conduct of battle actions.
In other words, it was to determine how helpless our plane was. As you know, the Su-24M2 was returning from a mission, and his pilot/navigation complex was working in "navigation" in conjunction with GLONASS, he was returning to the base and was not ready to take action. All this time, the E-3 was passing details of the Su-24M2 pair patrol to the Turkish F-16CJ. This aircraft is specially produced for Turkey. Its feature is the presence of the computer, running the new radar AN/APG-68 and fulfilling the role of co-pilot and navigator.
But this information is not enough to acquire a high-speed target.
The accuracy of the output of fighter F-16CJ was also further enhanced by ground-based U.S. Patriot air defense, stationed in Turkey, or rather their multifunctional radar AN/MPQ-53. The Patriot air defense system can work with the E-3A electronic reconnaissance, satellites and MENTOR, it is possible that the satellite constellation was more SC "GEOSTAT."
The flight path F-16CJ speaks to a precision acquisition of the target by the method of triangulation: a pair of E-3A radar plus the radio-locational facilities of the Patriot air defense system plus MENTOR geostationary satellites, and possibly the SC "GEOSTAT."
At the same time the E-3A indicated where our aircraft was in the air, determined its trajectory, speed, status of weapons control; the radar of the Patriot air defense system in conjunction with the satellite signals intelligence MENTOR provided telemetry on the movement of the Su-24M2 in relation to the ground - that is, gave an precise and forecastable sector appearance of our the aircraft relative to the mountainous terrain.
It turns out that Turkish fighter knew exactly where to wait in ambush for our plane. A pair of F-16CJ entered the shooting zone and, at a distance of 4-6 kilometers, practically pointblank, loosed an air-to-air AIM-9X Sidewinder missile that hit the rear fuselage of the Russian bomber. This radar AN/APG-68 equipped fighter jet launched a rocket that operates on a "target illumination": turn on at start-up and shut off after the rocket firmly grips and hits the target.
The chances of the Su-24M2 crew to avoid being hit were zero.
Against AIM-9X missiles with the new matrix infrared seeker, the imaging of the target in the infrared range, and its insensitivity to heat trap, the Su-24M2 has no counter systems. Its means of countering: the “Carpathian” in-flight defensive complex, the stations for warning of radar illumination, for detection of missile launches (LO-82), for jamming (SPS-161), and the devices for release of chaff and generation of false thermal targets (AMS-50); these latter cannot confront the new missile AIM-9X.
If there was a fighter escort, the tragedy could have been prevented by a pair of Su-30CM, which are armed with the flight defensive system "Khibiny-U." Yet no one was expecting a stab in the back from an ally, especially from those – fully apprised of our operations – to whom belong the “Patriots” and the “AWACS”, as well as the satellites possibly involved in the operation.
Turkey does not possess its own capacity for such meticulous and very precise work. And do not forget the second the E-3, assigned to the KSA Air Force. The whole scenario was conducted at very high speed, the meter timed to the second.
But the Turks still made a mistake, and because of this the provocation was not entirely successful. The F-16CJ was 2 minutes late in acquiring the target; by that time the Su-24M2 has already left the 68 km sector of disputed territory in northern Syria (its flight it took 1.5 minutes maximum). The “shoot” order given to the F-16CJ was not canceled, so the missile launch was carried out a little further from the calculation point. This is confirmed by the fact that the filming of the descent of the Su-24M2 was planned both from the territory of Syria, and from the territory of Turkey, but the "Syrian" frames were more detailed. It seems that this saved our navigator. He was able to go to the "green" and wait for the search party there.

SST's experts can comment on the verisimilitude of such a narrative. Curious: as "b" reported, the Vice Chief of the JCS, Admiral James A. Winnefeld, was in Ankara at the moment of the shoot down. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/insanity-games.aspx?pageID=449&nID=91621&NewsCatID=425

Richard armstrong

Cui bono?

Chris Chuba

To play Devil's Advocate here, would it really be that hard to ambush the Russian bomber on their own?

1. The Russians were bombing that area on a daily basis, so the Turks could logically predict a likelihood of a future sortie.

2. I don't know the total flight times of the Russian bomber, or which air base the F16's came from so I guess a lot depends on when they took off relative to the Russian bomber. Yes, it would look suspicious IF this was the first pair of F16's in the air BEFORE the Russian bomber took off. However, if the F16's took off AFTER the Russian bomber than it would not. If the Turks had F16's in the air prior to the Russian bomber then it would look less suspicious if they had pairs of F16's and this was like the second or fourth rotation.

I hope my point #2 was communicated properly. I am not making an assertion in point #2, just laying the ground work for what would and what would not look suspicious to me.


Chris Chuba

I am inclined to agree that the Turks could have done this on their own given the repetitive pattern of Russian flights along the border, but, what do I know... pl



"Most Kemalist Turks, and I among them, think that tayyip is a ziocon operation" How would that work and what would be his motivation for this kind of allegiance? pl


The Turkish Air Force has violated Greek airspace for decades. There are often Greek AF launches to intercept Turkish planes flying over Greek islands- and overflights are easy to do with the number of Greek-claimed islands. No shooting, but sometimes a plane, and even pilot is lost, due to air-air maneuvering. Turkish intrusion into Greek airspace is not new.

William R. Cumming

Is it accurate that both Obama and Putin have asked Turkey to seal its Syrian Border for a 60 mile length?

Babak Makkinejad




"what they really are – ISIS, aka Israeli Secret Intelligence Service." OK. I will play the game. I can imagine this as an Israeli covert political operation of grand scale but I cannot imagine what the motivation would be of the IS leaders like Baghdadi. pl



"Admiral James A. Winnefeld, was in Ankara at the moment of the shoot down." So what. It is quite natural that he would be visiting Ankara in this time of crisis when the Turks are being such a pain in the ass. pl

Trey N


From your years of experience in the Middle East, do you have any idea why ISIS refuses to attack Israel? I would think that would be the very top target of a genuine Islamic jihadi, yet Baghdadi claims that he has been commanded by Allah NOT to attack Israel. ??!!


The Preveza air base is used for NATO/OTAN E3 operations. So was the E3 that took off from Preveza a U.S. or NATO/OTAN asset? I'm more inclined toward it being a NATO/OTAN E3. As for the Saudi E3, the Saudis are the Saudis.

A NATO/OTAN Saudi operation, or a U.S. Saudi one? Again, it looks more like a NATO/OTAN Saudi one.

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