The RF-4E that went down inside the Syrian airspace on Jun. 22, 2012, may have been downed by a technical failure.
This is more or less what emerges from the latest news released by the Turkish Armed Forces.
According to the report by the Presidency of the Gendarmerie Criminal Department, the remains of the aircraft collected on the water surface did not provide evidence of any organic or inorganic explosive residues, any fire initiator or accelerator substances which are derivatives of petroleum, and there is no sign of an ammunition remnant.
To make it simple: it was neither a missile nor gun fire. Therefore, it could have been a technical malfunction or a sudden emergency that did not give the crew the time to radio the alert.
But it is quite unlikely. After experiencing the failure, the pilot headed towards Syria. A decision that proves that the two on board had the time to react to situation, no matter which one it was.
Also a bit confusing are the claims by Ankara.
On Jun. 22, Turkey said that one of their planes had been gunned down by Syrian armed forces even though they later claimed it was hit by a SAM missile. Today the latest Turkish official release states that “the plane which was gunned down by the Syrian armed forces, according to the Syrian official authorities” [highlight mine].
The saga continues.
Make sure to monitor this link to read all the past and future stories on this topic: https://theaviationist.com/category/turkish-rf-4e-shot-down/