Daily Israel Report

Russian Defense: Downed Turkish Aircraft on NATO Mission

Russian Defense Ministry official said downed Turkish aircraft violated Syrian airspace on an intelligence mission for the NATO.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/8/2012, 11:15 AM

F-15 Fighter Jet
F-15 Fighter Jet
Flash 90

Chairman of the Social Council at the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Korotchenko, said that the Turkish aircraft downed in the Syrian territorial waters had violated Syrian airspace on an intelligence mission for NATO aiming at measuring the capabilities of the Syrian anti-air defenses, the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.

In an interview with Russia Today, Korotchenko said that the Syrian defenses showed high skills in downing the aircraft and that the country’s air defenses have the ability to confront any threat.

He noted the importance of the incident claiming that it will cause the West to reconsider undertaking aerial operations against Syria in the future, as it is likely to suffer significant loses.

Korotchenko said that Russia has documented information on the infiltration of the aircraft, saying that it was destroyed legally as it was within the Syrian airspace.

He said that the aircraft was conducting espionage and photo reconnaissance of important sites, and that the Turks did not anticipate that the Syrian anti-air defenses would be able to down thise aircraft due to its high maneuverability and low altitude, expecting it to return safely to base after finishing the mission mission.

Korotchenko went on to assert that Turkish intelligence sought to obtain information about Syria's anti-air defenses for the benefit of NATO, and that the efficiency of these defenses constitutes a blow to the Turkish air forces.

He also refuted the Turkish officials allegations regarding the incident, saying that Turkish diplomacy is making considerable efforts to appear innocent and lay full blame on Syria, according to SANA.