No Sign of Artillery Damage On Downed Turkish Plane

Article Summary
Ankara’s statements on the June 22 downing of a Turkish plane near Syria has continued to confuse the Turkish public. Eyup Can reports that investigative reporting and analysis can confirm only that the Syrians claimed to have downed it. As the plane bore no signs of explosives or artillery or rocket fire, it could have simply crashed.

After much searching and investigating, our chief of general staff is not sure that our plane was shot down by Syria. This is hard to believe, but that is what they are telling us. I was terrified when I read this latest statement from our command. It is a somewhat technical text, but read it and see if it won’t terrify you.

First, an introduction:

All the information we have regarding the Turkish Air Force RF-4 plane, which was on a mission in international airspace over the eastern Mediterranean when all radar and radio contact with it was lost and when Syrian officials subsequently claimed that they had shot it down, was shared with the public properly and with full transparency. This transparency and disclosure of information will continue. The latest developments about this issue are as follows…

Let’s first analyze what the office of the chief of general staff is saying. “We have shared all information with the public properly and with full transparency.” Really? If that was the case, why did all of Turkey receive the first bit of detailed information from Syrian officials, accompanied by maps on Turkish screens? Why was our military command silent for three days? Never mind transparency, we did not even witness proper crisis management and information sharing.

And then, in a panic, the public was flooded with radio chatter, video recordings, radar data and claims of international airspace and missile firing. But apart from the fact that our plane was downed, all the information that we were given did not go beyond “claims.”

Our command had to revise its earlier claims with every new statement they issued. That is why we came out with the headline, “Turkey Revises its Thesis about Missile.” We were expecting a revision only on the issue of missile firing.

Now, I am terrified to realize that Turkey went to brink of war two weeks ago by changing its rules of engagement with Syria for shooting down our plane without any warning, seeing as how Turkey is now not even sure if the plane was shot down by Syria.

Please look at this phrase: “...Syrian officials subsequently claimed that they had shot it down…”

Look at our position now, when it used to be that we would "make them pay.” Somebody is making fun of us.

What does it mean, “claimed that they had shot down”? It means after all that research and investigation, our chief of general staff is not even sure that the plane was shot down by Syria. This is hard to believe, but that is exactly what was announced yesterday [July 11].

The statement goes on:

All of the parts collected from the surface during the search-and-rescue operation were studied by the Criminal Affairs Department of the Gendarmerie. According to their findings, there were no traces of any kind of oil-derivative fire igniter or accelerant, nor were there any remnants of organic or non-organic explosives. There were also no ammunition marks of any kind on those recovered parts.

What does this mean?

Turkey has not found any indication that the plane was shot down with a missile or any other ammunition.

There is not the slightest trace of anything that would show that the F-4 was shot down with military ammunition of any kind, neither from a missile nor from anti-aircraft fire.

Such a finding forced our chief of general staff to say the phrase "Syrian officials subsequently claimed that they had shot it down…”

This also means that if Syria had kept quiet about it, you could also say that our plane crashed by itself.

I can’t believe it. I give up.

Found in: turkish plane, turkish military statements, turkish jet, turkish foreign policy, turkey, syrian crisis, syrian-turkish relations, recep tayyip erdogan, military

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