POLITICS > Forces might have confused Turkish jet for Israeli one, minister says

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

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In this April 29, 2010 file photo, a Turkish pilot salutes before take-off at an air base in Konya, Turkey. AP photo

In this April 29, 2010 file photo, a Turkish pilot salutes before take-off at an air base in Konya, Turkey. AP photo

Syrian forces could have confused the Turkish jet they shot down on June 22 for one that belonged to Israel, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zubi told private Turkish broadcaster A Haber today.

"Turkish planes and Israel planes look like each other," the minister said, noting that the "Zionist country" was in the area. "If an Israeli plane enters Syria, it is welcomed by fire. [The Turkish plane] might have been believed to be an Israeli plane; we did not want to take down a Turkish plane."
Al-Zubi also said they had no information about the pilots of the downed jet.

Israeli planes occasionally violate Syrian airspace, according to reports.


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Nick(vR) VR

6/27/2012 10:18:34 PM

An F-15 Eagle and an F-4 Phantom look very similar? Never heard of IFF radar (Identification Friend or Foe)? Never heard that planes are recognized by radar? Are you still living in the stone age? Stop trying to make israel responsible for this accident. Or was it just stupidity from both sides?

Naci Seyhanli

6/27/2012 8:05:37 PM

The fact remains that Syria shot down an unarmed, retreating Turkish F4. Assad and his henchmen have no credibility, and Turkey isn't looking for a fight over their skies. So, why all the hand wringing? Syria's at fault. Israel takes on and kills unarmed civilians on the Mavi Marmara, and Syria shoots down an unarmed Turkish jet, yet Turkey's to blame? Please. Erdogan and Co. are the only parties showing restraint.

Arthur Borges

6/27/2012 7:18:49 PM

Um, official sources shouldn't be speculating: they're supposed to know and shut up or to know and share.


6/27/2012 6:44:20 PM

That was my theory too initially and it kind of makes sense. Except, Turks have intercepted communication that indicates Syrians knew it was Turkish jet, and also the plane had NATO IFF codes so their Russian radars certainly knew how to read that. On top, they fired at the Turkish search and rescue plane that came into the area soon after. You do the math.


6/27/2012 6:07:56 PM

This second rate Syrian politician Mr. Al Zubi (I hope he knows the meaning of his name in Arabic slang) is cynically exploiting and abusing the tragic death of the pilots, trying to impress ignorant people who have no idea of the facts and no clue about planes, how they operate, and what planes are used by Israel. The HurriyetDailyNews should be more selective in what it publishes. I read into his words concealed contempt and disrespect to the intelligent reader.

Blue Dotterel

6/27/2012 5:09:35 PM

Israeli warplanes sometimes enter Syrian airspace from Turkey and bomb building complexes, too (September 2007, anyone). Is it any wonder that Syrian defense forces get a little nervous when warplanes come flying low into their airspace. Erdogan should apologize to Syria and the pilots' families for creating this mess.


6/27/2012 5:07:51 PM

One official says: accident Other official says: we will shoot even our own jet Another official says: mistaken for an Israeli jet Yet another official says: Syrian air space is holly molly bla bla, it lost it's Holiness a looooong time ago. Syrian airspace, ground and waters is not a unknown place for the Turks. Turks used to chill there for centuries, so what holiness are you talking about? Obviously this country is paranoid, but Turkey gotta do what it's gotta DO !

Rimon Tree

6/27/2012 5:00:15 PM

Here we go! I knew somehow they will find a way to blame all on Israel! What a bunch of hypocrites all of them, be it the syrians or the Turkish government. Instead of taking responsibility they try to hide the a foolish mission which costed two Turkish lives by putting the blame on the usual victim!

sam stevens

6/27/2012 5:00:13 PM

I think the Syrians would have told us if that were the case, don't you ? I did wonder how long it would take for Turks to bring Israel into this.
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