Turkish jet shot down by Syrian missile blast: Military prosecutor
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
An F-4 Phantom II warplane is seen in flight. Hürriyet photoA Turkish F-4 Phantom warplane which crashed into the Mediterranean on June 22 was shot down by a Syrian air defense missile even though the missile did not directly hit the plane, a report by a military prosecutor said today.
The report said radar data obtained from the plane's computer indicated that the plane received a signal from a missile. Syrian authorities have insistently said they shot down the Turkish plane within Syrian air space with anti-aircraft guns as the plane flew at an altitude of 100 meters.
The military prosecutor's report said even though there were no indications to show that a missile impacted the plane, the plane's remains carried traces of material found in surface-to-air missiles. The report added there was no damage to the plane that might have been caused by fire from an anti-aircraft gun, as Syrian authorities suggested.
"Parts of the retrieved plane wreck were taken through metallurgic examination, and traces of potassium chlorate, which is used as an oxidizing agent in missile fuels and as the main substance in missile warheads, were found splashed on the plane's fuselage," the report said.
The report concluded that a surface-to-air missile was fired toward the Turkish plane as it flew in international air space in the eastern Mediterranean.
"The missile detonated just behind and to the left of the plane. The blast from the explosion caused the plane and the pilots to lose the capability to continue a stable flight. The plane continuously lost altitude as it banked left, until it crashed into water in a position slightly tipped to the left with the plane's nose pointing up."
The report said there were no indications of a technical malfunction that might have caused the plane to crash.