A month ago, US and Russian military officials signed a memorandum of understanding that included steps their pilots should take to avoid an inadvertent clash over Syria as they carry out separate air strikes against armed groups. That MoU has now been shredded, as it certainly did not involve Russian fighter jets operating above Syria being armed with short and medium range air-to-air missiles as a direct threat to other fighter jets also operating above Syria – mostly those of Turkey, France and the US.
Which is precisely what Russia has done as disclosed in an announcement moments ago by the Russian defense ministry, and furthermore, has released a clip as a warning to not only Turkey, but all NATO forces in the region, that any further provocations at its jets will be met with an immediate and proportional response. Continue reading »
So let’s just be clear about what’s going on here, because it would be a shame if the absurdity was lost on anyone. In January 2014, MIT loaded up some trucks with weapons bound for militant groups operating in northwestern Syria. Those trucks were stopped at the border by police who were subsequently threatened by intelligence agents who accompanied the drivers. Erdogan has now charged the officers with “forming and leading an armed terrorist organization,” when in fact they were doing the exact opposite. That is, they were trying to keep several truck loads of weapons from reaching armed terrorist organizations.
As you can see, there are no limits on what Erdogan will do to suppress dissent and cover up Ankara’s role in implicitly supporting terrorism by arming militants in Syria.
It’s worth noting that the FSA has become nothing more than a kind of catch-all excuse for flooding Syria with weapons. As al-Jazeera reported earlier this month, the group is beset with defections and “nowhere is [the dissatisfaction] more apparent than in Aleppo, where many FSA soldiers are leaving the group, citing inadequate pay, family obligations and poor conditions.” Still, the media manages to portray them as a well-organized group of battle-hardened, “moderate” warriors who have a very real chance at battling the Russians and Iranians to a stalemate (they’ve rejected Russia’s overtures regarding teaming up to fight ISIS) on the way to negotiating for a transition away from the Assad government. This characterization allows Washington and its regional allies to justify the hundreds of millions in guns, ammo, and funding that to this day flows into the country unimpeded. Whether or not all of that goes to the FSA or the Kurds or whether, like Erdogan’s MIT trucks, it all could be going to the very same groups who organize and execute attacks on Western civilians is an open question that will likely never be answered.
It goes without saying that the atrocities of Paris on November 13, 2015 were unspeakable and sickening. But what is not being said in the wake of the incident—what has been ignored by the mass media—is predictably telling and ominous.
As in the wake of 9/11, the people of the world are being provoked, agitated and mobilized; the fear, horror, rage and shock channeled and shaped into wave of collective vengeance and hatred. Hatred towards what and whom?
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks. But what is the Islamic State? Continue reading »
Earlier this year, The Pentagon had a plan. Apparently, someone in Centcom decided that there weren’t enough proxy armies battling for control of Syria and so, what the US needed to do was spend $500 million on a new “train and equip” program which, if all went according to plan, would result in the recruitment of more than 5,000 fearsome warriors by the end of 2015.
Of course the CIA and The Pentagon had already spent years arming, funding, and training Syrian rebels but as it turns out, most of them either proved to be wholly ineffective or else became terrorists. Although the CIA program was still operational, the Obama administration thought it would be advantageous to have (another) parallel program in place wherein “properly vetted” fighters would receive a steady stream of logistical support, training, and weapons. Continue reading »
“…we didn’t go after oil wells – actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls because we didn’t want to do environmental damage.”
As we pointed out a week ago, even before the downing of the Russian jet by a Turkish F-16, the most important question that nobody had asked about ISIS is where is the funding for the terrorist organization coming from, and more importantly, since everyone tacitly knows where said funding is coming from (as we have revealed in an ongoing series of posts “Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey’s President“, “How Turkey Exports ISIS Oil To The World: The Scientific Evidence” and “ISIS Oil Trade Full Frontal: “Raqqa’s Rockefellers”, Bilal Erdogan, KRG Crude, And The Israel Connection“) few on the US-led Western Alliance have done anything to stop the hundreds of millions in oil sale proceeds from funding the world’s best organized terrorist group.
We concluded by asking “how long until someone finally asks the all important question regarding the Islamic State: who is the commodity trader breaching every known law of funding terrorism when buying ISIS crude, almost certainly with the tacit approval by various “western alliance” governments, and why is it that these governments have allowed said middleman to continue funding ISIS for as long as it has?” Continue reading »
Turkey: shooting down Russian planes while gossiping with takfiri terrorists
Don’t file this one under “surprising”, but a video has emerged of ISIS jihadists having a lovely chit-chat with Turkish border guards. The video is allegedly from October, so this is not a new Turkish tourism campaign launched in the wake of losing hundreds of thousands of Russian tourists. No, Turkey just sort of “likes” ISIS. They go together like peas and carrots. This is precious: Continue reading »
he Air Force has hired civilian defense contractors to fly MQ-9 Reaper drones to help track suspected militants and other targets in global hot spots, a previously undisclosed expansion in the privatization of once-exclusively military functions.
For the first time, civilian pilots and crews now operate what the Air Force calls “combat air patrols,” daily round-the-clock flights above areas of military operations to provide video and collect other sensitive intelligence.
Contractors control two Reaper patrols a day, but the Air Force plans to expand that to 10 a day by 2019. Each patrol involves up to four drones. Continue reading »
Lt. General Tom McInerney is an expert on handling threats from fighter jets.
McInerney served as:
- Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) – the military agency responsible for protecting the United States and Canada from foreign jet attacks – for the Alaska region
- Commander of the Alaskan Air Command
- Commander of 11th Air Force in Alaska
- Commander of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Clark Air Base, Philippines
- Commander of the 313th Air Division, Kadena Air Base, Japan Continue reading »
Late last month in “Russia’s Mid-East Takeover Continues As Afghanistan Requests Military Assistance From Moscow,” we noted, with some amusement, that Kabul was set to request a weapons delivery from Russia to aid in the fight against the Taliban. “Afghanistan, battered by worsening security, is reaching out to an old ally and patron—Russia—just as the Kremlin is seeking to reassert its position as a heavyweight on the world stage,” WSJ reported, on the way to detailing a request from President Ashraf Ghani who “asked Moscow for artillery, small arms and Mi-35 helicopter gunships for his country’s struggling military.”
The request came just a little over a week after President Obama canceled plans to bring the majority of American troops still stationed in Afghanistan home. Under Obama’s previous plan, Washington would withdraw most of the 9,800 troops operating in the country by the end of next year, leaving a force of just 1,000. Now, all 9,800 troops will remain for “most” of next year and 5,500 troops will remain in 2017. The official reason for the about face is that a resurgent Taliban now controls more territory in Afghanistan than at any other time since 2001.
As a reminder, the Taliban took Kabul in 1996 and ruled until the regime was toppled by the US in the wake of 9/11. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“I think this whole thing is a case of ‘who do you need most”.
Turkey needs/wants to join EU, but also wants Russia’s GAS for Europe.
But the Rothschilds & Rockefellers don’t want Putin’s Gas to get through.
The Southern Pipeline bypassed Ukraine beautifully, but Erdogan bows to the Rothschilds who have been allowing him to clean up on ISIS Oil sales.”
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday called for sanctions against Turkey, following the downing this week by Turkey of a Russian warplane.
It includes a ban on some goods and forbids extensions of labor contracts for Turks working in Russia as of Jan. 1. It doesn’t specify what goods are to be banned or give other details, but it also calls for ending chartered flights from Russia to Turkey and for Russian tourism companies to stop selling vacation packages that would include a stay in Turkey. Continue reading »
An enraged Russian politician urged Vladimir Putin to drop a NUCLEAR BOMB on Istanbul as revenge for Turkey shooting down a jet bomber.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky called for the extermination of nine million by annihilating the Turkish city during a radio interview. Continue reading »
By now everyone is aware of the Turkish side of the story of how a Russian Su-24 was downed by a Turkish F-16 on Tuesday morning, when it allegedly crossed into Turkish airspace for a grand total of 17 seconds, with Turkey supposedly warning the Russian bomber which had been targeting alleged jihadists in the region no less than “ten times.” Turkey even produced an alleged recording of said warning, which Russia implied was faked as the surviving pilot made it very clear no actual warning had been received by the Russian warplane.
So now that Russia has had three days to go through the evidence and assemble the pieces of what it thinks happened, here is the summary as presented earlier today by the Commander in Chief of the Russian air force, Viktor Bondarev, which however presents a very gloomy picture with dire consequences for the peaceful geopolitics of the middle east.
In summary, what Col. Gen. Bondarev said is that Turkey actively sought to ambush and bring down the Russian jet starting long before the actual missile was fired, which can be confirmed by the flight patterns of Turkish warplanes which had taken off well in advance, otherwise they would not have had enough time to reach the battlezone. Continue reading »
As reported two days ago, one of the first decisions a very angry Russia took in the aftermath of the shooting down of its Su-24 by a Turkish F-16 was to dispatch a Moskva guided-missile cruiser off the coast of Syria to provide air cover for its jets operating near Latakia, as well as send an unknown number of ultramodern S-400 (or SA-21 Growler in NATO designation) SAM batteries to Latakia to make sure that the tragic incident from Tuesday never repeats itself by sending Turkey a very clear message that the next time a Turkish warplane engages a Russian jet, Russia will immediate retaliate using ground forces.
Earlier today, Russia made a very explicit demonstration of the deployment of at least two S-400 batteries at Syria’s Khmeimim airbase, with the Russian Ministry of Defense promptly publicizing the arrival with the following clip. Continue reading »
If you cannot stop what the TPTB have planned for you, Turkey, then you better get ready for civil war and war with Russia, i.e. evacuate.
Turkey and the Ukraine are to be sacrificed like pawns on the global chess board.
As expected, the F-16 attack on a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria has become a hot topic for discussion on Turkish social media. Taking a peak at both the Turkish and English-language corners of the Twitterverse, Sputnik discovered that not only are many Turks upset over the incident, some are downright outraged over their government’s actions.
With the Turkish Air Force attack on the Russian plane in Syria instantly provoking a swelling response of debate and condolences from both Russian and foreign social media users, Turkish social media users naturally joined in. But in a surprising twist, many offered apologies to their northern neighbor, emphasizing that it is the Recep Erdogan government, not the Turkish people, who should be blamed for the attack.
Some users appealed directly to their Russian friends, using the Russian-language hashtag #StabInTheBack. Continue reading »
“China has for decades proudly proclaimed its lack of military facilities on foreign soil, so seeking long-term military access at a quasi-base level is a massive about-face… China is poised to cross the Rubicon.”
The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter on Tuesday shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber that Ankara claims violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria
MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. The Turkish side has refused to hand the Russian military attache any materials on Turkey’s attack on Russia’s Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.
“Our military representative was notified that it was impossible to hand him any materials relating to the attack on a Russian plane on November 24 by a Turkish F-16 fighter,” Konashenkov said when speaking of the results of the diplomat’s visit to the Turkish General Staff. Continue reading »
This group of “Turks” boasted earlier that both Russian pilots ejected from the shot down Russian Su-24 jet were killed in the air from their bullets. However, that proved to be false after one of the pilots turned out to be alive and even gave an interview about the incident. And that’s not all. Apparently the commander of this militant pack Alpaslan “Celik” Steel is the son of a former Turkish mayor and is associated with the Turkish MHP party.
Now that France has officially joined the party in Syria in an effort to avenge the 130 people who lost their lives in Islamic State’s brazen assault on Paris, the odds of World War III have increased exponentially.
Sure, The Kremlin has for now instructed the military to treat the French as “allies” and for the time being, Moscow’s pilots are writing “For Paris” on bombs, but as Tuesday’s “incident” between Turkish F-16s and a Russian Su-24 makes clear, crowded skies are dangerous skies, especially when there’s a significant amount of ambiguity surrounding what everyone is up to in Syria on a day to day basis.
Now that Russia has deployed the S-400s to Latakia and placed the Moskva guided missile cruiser equipped with S-300-like systems off the coast, anything that even looks like a threat to Russia’s air force will be “destroyed” and that, as WaPo noted on Wednesday, “has the potential to create headaches for Turkish and other aircraft in a U.S.-led coalition that are carrying out a separate airstrike campaign in Syria.”
So, to the extent that the Paris attacks served to thaw tensions between Russia and the West, Turkey’s decision to shoot down an Su-24 means it was one step forward and two steps back.
Now, it appears the already crowded playing field is about to get more cramped as David Cameron, following up on comments made during meetings with Francois Hollande, is pushing British lawmakers to approve RAF strikes on ISIS. As Reuters reports, the PM “told lawmakers on Thursday it was time to join air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, saying Britain cannot ‘subcontract its security to other countries’”. Continue reading »
Moscow has deployed its newest S-400 air defense missile system to Khmeimim in Syria as part of a security boost following the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey earlier this week.
“In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces, today (on Monday) an S-400 air defense missile system has been promptly delivered, deployed and already began combat duty to provide cover for the area around the Russian Khmeimim air base in Syria,” General-Major Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s Ministry of Defense spokesman, said.
Commenting on the decision, 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.” Continue reading »
Turkish military sources speaking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said the number of mock dogfights between Turkish and Greek warplanes in 2014 has sharply increased compared to 2013. A report by the Greek Ekathimerini news agency confirmed the Turkish accounts. According to the agency, in just the first month of 2014, Turkish jets violated Greek airspace 1,017 times. That is twice the total number of violations in the first six months of 2013. (Source)
On Tuesday evening, we took a close look at the circumstances surrounding Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian border. The incident was the most meaningful escalation in the conflict to date and marks the first time a Russian or Soviet plane has been downed by NATO since 1953.
The pilots ejected, one of whom was shot in his parachute by FSA-affiliated Alwiya al-Ashar militiamen who subsequently celebrated over the body. About an hour later, the FSA’s 1st Coastal Brigade used a US-made TOW to destroy a Russian search and rescue helicopter, killing one Russian marine.
For his part, Vladimir Putin called Erdogan a backstabber and proceeded to accuse Turkey of flying the black flag of ISIS and funding the Islamic State cause by facilitating the sale of illegal crude.
Miraculously, there were no further escalations overnight, but as we outlined in detail on Tuesday, something doesn’t add up about the story Ankara is telling. According to a letter Turkey sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the 15 members of the UN Security Council, the Russian warplane, flying at 19,000 feet, “violated Turkish national airspace to a depth of 1.36 miles and 1.15 miles in length for 17 seconds.” If you do the math on that, it means the Su-24 was basically flying at stall speed.
The conflicting stories over yesterday’s dramatic downing of a Russian jet on the Syria-Turkish border continue to grow, and after the ongoing confusion whether the Russian pilot did or did not enter Turkish territory for a grand total of 17 seconds, moments ago Konstantin Murahtin, the co-pilot from the downed Russian jet who survived the ground fire by US-armed rebels unlike his pilot, and who was rescued by the Syrian army, said that contrary to official reports that Turkey had somehow warned the Russian jet “10 times” (in 17 seconds?) that it would fire, Turkey had in fact given no warning whatsoever before downing the Russian jet.
Turkey has a right to defend itself and its airspace, President Obama said on Tuesday after Ankara’s F-16s shot down a Russian Su-24 which Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims ventured into Turkish airspace for a grand total of 17 seconds.
Similarly, Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey was simply acting to defend its security.
Of course you can take everything Erdogan says with a grain of salt because if we’re being honest, he’s an autocrat and largely thanks to his government, Turkey is a tyrannical frontier market masquerading as a largely developed democracy.
When it comes to NATO and the West you can always find a contradiction or two (or five) when it comes to foreign policy rhetoric which is why we weren’t at all surprised (although we were amused) with what we found when we decided to take a look back at what Erdogan said in 2012 after Assad’s air force shot down a Turkish F-4 phantom jet when it crossed into Syrian airspace.
Here’s a map showing the flight path of the F-4 and where it disappeared (via BBC):
Needless to say, Moscow and Ankara are at odds over precisely what happened on Tuesday when a Russian Su-24 was shot down near the Syrian border.
The two pilots ejected and attempted to parachute to safety but Turkmen FSA-allied Alwiya al-Ashar militiamen shot at them as they fell before posting a video purporting to show rebel soldiers celebrating over one of the bodies. It only got worse from there when the FSA’s 1st Coastal Brigade used a US-made TOW to destroy a Russian search and rescue helicopter.
Clearly, this was a marked escalation and indeed it was the first time a NATO member had engaged a Russian or Soviet warplane in more than 60 years. Continue reading »
The killings, part of the Obama administration’s targeted assassination program, are aiding terrorist recruitment and thus undermining the program’s goal of eliminating such fighters, the veterans added. Drone operators refer to children as “fun-size terrorists” and liken killing them to “cutting the grass before it grows too long,” said one of the operators, Michael Haas, a former senior airman in the Air Force. Haas also described widespread drug and alcohol abuse, further stating that some operators had flown missions while impaired.
Haas also described widespread alcohol and drug abuse among drone pilots. Drone operators, he said, would frequently get intoxicated using bath salts and synthetic marijuana to avoid possible drug testing and in an effort to “bend that reality and try to picture yourself not being there.” Haas said that he knew at least a half-dozen people in his unit who were using bath salts and that drug use had “impaired” them during missions.
– From the Intercept article: Former Drone Operators Say They Were “Horrified” by Cruelty of Assassination Program
I’ve highlighted the plight of several brave drone whistleblowers over the years who came forth to decry the barbaric and likely illegal nature of the U.S. drone program. Recently, four of them came together to denounce it more forcefully and provide more disturbing information. They also wrote a letter to Obama.
Despite demands from France’s Hollande, America’s Obama, and NATO’s Stoltenberg that this situation not esclate, it appears Putin is not taking the shooting down of a fighter jet lying down. The seemingly cagey confirmation by NATO and Obama of Turkey’s claims that Russia invaded its airspace has been rebuked by Russia which claims the Hmeimim airbase radar shows the attacking Turkish plane violating Syrian airspace. In response, Russia is moving a Cruiser ‘Moskva’ off the coast to strengthen air-defenses – just as French and US carriers are on their way.
Here is The Turkish version mapping of the flight paths.
Russia claims otherwise:
- HMEIMIM AIRBASE’S RADAR SYSTEM RECORDS VIOLATION OF SYRIAN AIRSPACE BY ATTACKING TURKISH WARPLANE – RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY
And is escalating:
- RUSSIAN ‘MOSKVA” CRUISER TO GO TO AREA IN COASTAL LATAKIA TO STRENGTHEN AIR DEFENSE IN SYRIA – RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY
The Missile cruiser in question: Continue reading »
If Putin was angry when Turkey shot down a Russian plane, which may or may not have crossed Turkish territory – reports on both sides are conflicting – he will be absolutely livid to learn that, according to Turkey’s Dogan News, the Russian pilots who had parachuted in an attempt to save their lives after the plane was shot down, had been executed while parachuting down by local rebels, which considering the video released earlier belonged to the Free Syrian Army, are same “rebels” who are funded directly by the CIA.
Both Russian pilots shot dead while parachuting down says Dogan News Agency citing Turkmen opposition commander
— Fercan Yalinkilic (@FercanY) November 24, 2015
DHA Muhabirinin görü?tü?ü Türkmen 2’nci Sahil Tümen Komutan Yard?mc?s? Alpaslan Çelik: Pilotlardan ikisini de para?ütle inerken vurduk
— Damla Do?an (@dmladogan) November 24, 2015
As Telegraph points out, the above tweet is from CNN Turk’s Foreign Editor who tweeted that the Turkmen rebels DHA spoke to said: “We hit at the two pilots after they parachuted.”
This, as many have already pointed out, is a war crime.
The only question is whether this, together with the provocative action by Turkey which many can see being an act of war, will be deemed as such by Putin.
The parachuters can be seen in the second half of the clip below: Continue reading »
Vladimir Putin speaking with the King of Jordan …
Watch from 5:48 into the video:
“…a stab in our back by the accomplices of terrorism…”
“…our plane was shot down over Syrian territory…”
A MUST-SEE …
Waiting for the response …
A few hours ago, Turkey decided that it would be a good idea to shoot down a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian border. It was the first time in nearly 60 years that a NATO member has shot down a Russian warplane.
There are competing accounts as to what led to the “incident”:
- Russia: “So far, we have not heard the reason for the crash of our attack aircraft from the Defense Ministry. We know for sure that the aircraft was in Syrian airspace, over the territory of Syria,”
- Turkey: “We warned them to avoid entering Turkish airspace before they did, and we warned them many times. Our findings show clearly that Turkish airspace was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly.”
So, as The Kremlin contemplates how best to respond to what is quite clearly the most serious escalation to date in Syria’s multi-sided, five-year civil war, the search is on for the two Russian pilots who ejected as the plane went down. Needless to say, just about the last place you want to be running around if you’re a fighter pilot is Syria.
But the search for the two men may be a lost cause. According to a video sent to Reuters, by “a Syrian rebel group”, at least one of the pilots is dead. Here’s the official word from AFP:
Moments ago a big black geopolitical swan landed when newswires lit up with headlines that a Turkish F-16 shot down what was initially said to be an unidentified warplane near the Syrian border after it violated Turkey’s airspace on Tuesday, a Turkish military official said, but the nationality of the downed aircraft was not immediately clear.
The Russian jet crashed in the mountainous Jabal Turkmen area of Latakia, where air strikes and fighting between rebels and Syrian government forces were reported earlier on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, Turkish F16s warned the jet repeatedly over the airspace violations before shooting it down.