"Turkish F-4 gunned down by anti-aircraft artillery inside the Syrian airspace" U.S. intelligence says

Jun 30 2012 - 4 Comments

The Turkish RF-4E shot down by Syria on Jun. 22, was probably gunned by a shore-based anti-aircraft artillery battery while it was flying inside the Syrian airspace.

Therefore, the U.S. version of the episode is in tune with the Syrian account (at least for what deals with the position of the aircraft when it was hit) of the mishap, rather than the Turkish one.

This is what the U.S. intelligence/defense sources indicated to the Wall Street Journal that, in an article published on Jun. 29, also confirmed The Aviationist’s early hypothesis that the Turkish Phantom was flying a mission aimed at probing Damascus air defenses.

Although how the American officials have gathered specific details about the position of the plane remains a sort-of mystery (an ISR – Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance – and/or an AEW – Airborne Early Warning platform spying Syrian activities might have recorded something) such embarrassing discrepancies emerge while Ankara amasses rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns along its border with Syria as a reaction to the downing of its fighter jet (whose crew members have not been recovered yet).

TuAF RF-4E Phantom II

Image credit: Turkish Air Force

  • TT

    They probably want to prevent the Turks from doing something rash by this disclosure

  • http://kiwisail.com Stephen

    I find it interesting you find it a sort of mystery that the americans had an idea of what was happening, You must read your own blog… they look at everything

    S

  • mats

    “how the American officials have gathered specific details about the position of the plane remains a sort-of mystery” – as a close ally they probably got the “reliable source” from inside TAF that you unfortunately don’t have. But then, it’s all about war propaganda and sadly none is interested in what really happened…

  • Joe

    Score one for Truth & Justice.

    It seemed unlikely, albeit possible, that the aircraft was struck then turned into Syrian airspace.