US: Downed Turkish Warplane Hit While in Syrian Airspace

Intelligence Backs Syrian Account of Shot-Down Warplane

New intelligence from US defense officials suggests that the Syrian version of the story of how the Turkish F-4 warplane was shot down was accurate, and threw serious doubt into NATO ally Turkey’s version of events.

Syria had insisted that the warplane was speeding toward Latakia Province when they fired a missile at it, and it crashed in Syrian waters off the coast. Turkey admitted to the plane violating Syrian airspace, but claimed it was shot down over international waters some 15 minutes later.

The US intelligence says that the type of fire used to shoot it down suggests the plane was flying low, as Syria claimed, and agreed that it was almost certainly hit inside Syrian airspace. They also expressed doubts about Turkey’s claim that the surveillance plane just happened to enter Syrian airspace on “training.”

“You think that the airplane was there by mistake?” one official said, saying that Turkey was likely trying to see how deep they could get into Syrian airspace without a response. Turkey expressed surprise at the comments, saying they were “unaware” of any US doubts about their story.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.