Putin: Downing of Russian jet over Syria stab in the back by terrorist accomplices
24 Nov, 2015
Turkey and the rebels it backs northern Syria had the right to defend themselves against Russian airstrikes, State Department spokesman told reporters. The rebels reportedly killed one Russian pilot who ejected from the jet hit by a Turkish missile.
During the regular press briefing, Mark Toner said the Syrian government did not have such a right, though.
When asked by RT’s Gayane Chichakyan if the State Department considered the rebels who reportedly killed the Russian pilots “moderates,” Toner replied:
“We’ve seen conflicting reports. One pilot may not have been killed. If these ‘Turkomen’ were actually being attacked by Russian strikes, they have every right to defend themselves.”
AP’s diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee asked a follow up question.
“Doesn’t that apply to everyone, not just rebels backed by West? Including the Assad regime?”
What the Assad regime was doing “is not self-defense,” Toner countered, arguing that the government in Damascus responded to “peaceful protests with four years of terror.”
When other reporters questioned his description of the Syrian conflict as a “peaceful protest,” Toner brushed them off by saying that “everyone in this room knows what happened.”
Toner repeated several times that Washington stood by Turkey as a NATO ally, and its “right to protect its sovereign airspace”, while refusing to comment on the specifics of this morning’s downing of a Russian jet because, by his admission, he had no details yet.
The State Department spokesman confirmed the US was supplying TOW missiles – seen in a video purportedly showing the rebels destroying a Russian search-and-rescue helicopter – to the“moderates” in northern Syria who were supposedly battling Islamic State forces.
Another revelation at the briefing on Tuesday was that the “de-confliction” mechanism established between the US and Russia last month to avoid clashes in the skies over Syria did not apply to any other members of the US-led coalition.
Asked by Chichakyan if the State Department would condemn the rebels’ use of US-supplied missiles against a Russian rescue helicopter, Toner replied that Syria was a “very complex environment.”
Repeating that Russia was supporting Assad and directing airstrikes against the “moderate Syrian opposition,” he said that this only increased the urgency to speed up the political transition, so that everyone could focus on fighting Islamic State.
Putin: Downing of Russian jet over Syria stab in the back by terrorist accomplices
24 Nov, 2015
Turkey backstabbed Russia by downing the Russian warplane and acted as accomplices of the terrorists, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
Follow LIVE UPDATES on Russian warplane shot down at Syria-Turkey border
Putin said the plane was hit by a Turkish warplane as it was traveling at an altitude of 6000 meters about a kilometer from the Turkish border. It was hit by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet. The crash site is four kilometers from the border. The plane posed no threat to Turkish national security, he stressed.
Putin said the plane was targeting terrorist targets in the Latakia province of Syria, many of whom came from Russia.
Russia has for a long time been aware of oil going from Syria under the control of terrorists to Turkey, Putin said. The money finances terrorist groups.
“IS has big money, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, from selling oil. In addition they are protected by the military of an entire nation. One can understand why they are acting so boldly and blatantly. Why they kill people in such atrocious ways. Why they commit terrorist acts across the world, including in the heart of Europe,” the Russian leader said.
The downing of the Russian warplane happened despite Russia signing an agreement with the US to prevent such incidents in Syria, Putin stressed. Turkey claims to be part of the US-led coalition fighting against IS in Syria, he added.
The incident will have grave consequences for Russia’s relations with Turkey, Putin warned.
“We have always treated Turkey as not only a close neighbor, but also as a friendly nation,” he said. “I don’t know who has an interest in what happened today, but we certainly don’t.”
The fact that Turkey did not try to contact Russia in the wake of the incident and rushed to call a NATO meeting instead is worrisome, Putin said. It appears that Turkey want NATO to serve the interests of IS, he added.
Putin said Russia respects the regional interests of other nations, but warned the atrocity committed by Turkey would not go without an answer.
Putin was speaking at a meeting with King of Jordan Abdullah II in Sochi, who expressed his condolences to the Russian leader over the loss of a Russian pilot in Tuesday’s incident, as well as the deaths of Russians in the Islamic State bombing of a passenger plane in Egypt.
The two leaders discussed the anti-terrorist effort in Syria and Iraq and the diplomatic effort to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
Earlier a Russian Su-24 bomber was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkey claimed that the plane violated Turkish airspace and did not respond to warnings. Ankara said it was rightfully acting to defend its sovereignty.
Russia insists that the plane stayed in the Syrian airspace.
One of the two pilots of the downed Russian warplane was reported killed by a rebel group as he was parachuting down on the ground after ejecting from the plane. The fate of the second pilot remains unknown.
Video Shows Russian Pilots of Downed Plane Being Shot At By Syrian Rebels
24 Nov 2015 By Cathy Burke
Horrifying videos are emerging that depict two Russian pilots of a downed plane being shot at by Syrian rebels as the airmen dangled from their parachutes — as well as one of the pilots after he hit the ground.
In a sickening video posted by CNN, correspondent Nick Paton Walsh reports it’s difficult to know which rebel group is doing the shooting because of so “many different groups in the area” with varying degrees of “radicalization” along the Syrian and Turkish border.
The rapid firing of machine guns can be heard in the background of the video, as well as screams of “Allahu Akbar,”
CNN’s Walsh speculated the pilots may have hit the ground dead.On Tuesday, Turkey said the Russian-made SU-24 was shot down after repeated warnings over air space violations, but Moscow said it could prove the jet had not left Syrian air space.
In another graphic video, the body of one pilot is seen on the ground as a group of men gather around him, Reuters reports.
“A Russian pilot,” a voice is heard saying in the video sent to the news agency, as men gather around the pilot on the ground. “God is great,” is also heard.
The rebel group that sent the video operates in the northwestern area of Syria, where groups including the Free Syrian Army are active but Islamic State, which has beheaded captives in the past, has no known presence.
A deputy commander of a Turkmen brigade told reporters on a trip organized by Turkish authorities that his forces had shot dead both pilots as they descended.
U.S. and Turkish officials said they could not confirm the pilots’ status.
“Both of the pilots were retrieved dead. Our comrades opened fire into the air and they died in the air,” Alpaslan Celik tells Reuters near the Syrian village of Yamadi, close to where the plane came down, holding what he said was a piece of a pilot’s parachute.
But there was conflicting reports on the pilots’ status, with one unnamed Turkish government official telling Agence France-Press both are thought to be alive — and that Turkish authorities were trying to recover them.
“Turkey has information that the two pilots are alive and right now Turkey is trying to recover them,” the official tells AFP.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the warplane crashed in a mountainous area in the northern countryside of Latakia province, where there had been aerial bombardment earlier and where pro-government forces have been battling insurgents on the ground.
The website Vocativ reports social media accounts affiliated with Syrian rebels are the ones circulating videos and images of the dead pilot, who is pictured wearing a Russian military vest and parachute gear.
The man is surrounded by people speaking in Syrian dialects, and celebrating, Vocativ also reported.
“The Tenth Brigade captured the Russian pilot, Allahu Akbar,” one man yells in a video clip of the disturbing display.
Vocativ reports the official Facebook account of the Tenth Brigade, a Syrian rebel group, also uploaded an image it says shows the pilot’s body, claiming his killing came in the countryside of Latakia, which is a port city — and that rebels were still searching for the second pilot.
Vocativ notes the images and videos hadn’t been independently verified.
Reuters and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.
FLASHBACK: TURKEY’S PRIME MINISTER CAUGHT ARMING ISIS
Months before Turkey shot down Russian jet, prime minister was shipping guns to ISIS
NOVEMBER 24, 2015 Kit Daniels
Turkey’s prime minister was caught shipping arms to ISIS in January, which may explain why the NATO ally shot down a Russian jet targeting ISIS militants on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered a media blackout after the military’s Gendarmerie General Command discovered around 50 rockets, 35 crates of ammunition, including mortar rounds, and Douchka anti-aircraft ammunition hidden inside Syria-bound trucks operated by Turkey’s intelligence agency.
“The trucks were carrying weapons and supplies to the al-Qaeda terror organization,” a report by the Gendarmerie General Command stated, and it’s worth noting that ISIS is linked to al-Qaeda.
The Gendarmerie General Command and public prosecutor Aziz Takei ordered the search at the Turkey/Syria border after receiving a tip that the trucks were carrying weapons and explosives to al-Qaeda in Syria.
“While the trucks were being escorted to Seyhan Gendarmerie Command for an extensive search, MIT [Turkey’s intelligence agency] personnel accompanying the trucks in an Audi vehicle blocked the road to stop the trucks,” Taştekin wrote. “When MIT personnel seized the keys from the trucks’ ignitions, an altercation ensued.”
“MIT personnel instructed the truck drivers to pretend their trucks had malfunctioned and committed physical violence against gendarmerie personnel.”
“The governor of Adana, Huseyin Avni Cos, arrived at the scene and declared, ‘The trucks are moving with the prime minister’s orders’ and vowed not to let them be interfered with no matter what,” he continued. “With a letter of guarantee sent by the regional director of MIT, co-signed by the governor, the trucks were handed back to MIT.”
In response to the search, Davutoglu removed Takei from office and had 13 soldiers arrested and charged with espionage.
“Though the scandal is tearing the country apart, the government opted for its favorite tactic of covering it up,” Turkish journalist Fehim Taştekin reported. “A court in Adana banned written, visual and Internet media outlets from any reporting and commenting on the stopping of the trucks and the search.”
The Turkish government was also training ISIS militants to fight in Syria.
“…After training in Turkey, thousands of ISIS fighters went to Iraq by way of Syria to join the effort to establish an Islamic caliphate subject to strict Islamic law, or Shariah,” Aaron Klein of WND reported.
And ISIS militants roam around freely in Istanbul, Turkey, without fear of local authorities, emphasizing the support ISIS enjoys from the Davutoglu government.
The centuries-old conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims and the trillions of dollars in potential oil and gas revenue in Syria are both key factors motivating the Sunni-dominated Davutoglu government to support ISIS in its proxy war to overthrow the Shia-dominated Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.
In 2011, Syria announced the discovery of a promising gas field in Homs, which, not surprisingly, became a battleground between Assad’s forces and ISIS, preventing Syria from fully tapping into the field.
Syria also rivals Turkey as one of the most strategic locations for natural gas pipelines to flow into Europe from Asia.
“Syria is the site of the proposed construction of a massive underground gas pipeline that, if completed, could drastically undercut the strategic energy power of U.S. ally Qatar and also would cut Turkey out of the pipeline flow,” Klein also reported. “Dubbed the ‘Islamic pipeline,’ the project may ultimately favor Russia and Iran against Western energy interests.”
But like the gas field in Homs, the construction of the nearly 3,500-mile pipeline has also been delayed by Syria’s war with ISIS.
This definitely helps Turkey, which views the proposed Islamic pipeline through Syria as a threat to its goal of becoming the main transit point for oil and gas flowing from East to West.
And NATO does not want Russia to benefit from a pipeline through Syria.
If the Davutoglu government can successfully use ISIS to topple Assad and install a puppet government in Syria, Turkey stands to gain trillions while also helping NATO isolate Russia.
TURKEY IN 2012: ‘SHORT-TERM BORDER VIOLATION CAN NEVER BE A PRETEXT FOR AN ATTACK’
Erdogan contradicts previous statements by shooting down Russian jet
NOVEMBER 24, 2015 by Mikael Thalen
Then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated in 2012 that a “short-term border violation can never be a pretext for attack” after a Turkish jet was shot down over Syrian territory.
Despite the assertion, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane Tuesday after the Sukhoi Su-24 allegedly violated Turkish airspace for mere “seconds.”
Vehemently denying the claims, Russia’s defense ministry said the aircraft was “exclusively over Syrian territory” for the entire duration of the flight.
As both the aircraft’s pilots parachuted to safety, US-backed “moderate rebels” began opening fire, reportedly killing at least one. A Russian helicopter attempting to locate the pilots moments later was also destroyed by Western-backed fighters using a US-made anti-tank weapon.
“We will never tolerate such crimes like the one committed today,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said before calling the incident a “stab in the back by the terrorists’ accomplices.”
As noted by Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson, “The incident occurred just days after Turkish officials warned Russia to ‘immediately end its operation’ against ISIS after warplanes bombed border regions.”
“Although a NATO member country, a deluge of evidence suggests that Turkey is in fact allied with ISIS and has helped the terror organization by providing safe passage and financing via black market oil sales,” Watson writes.