CNN Turkey Reports Ankara Downed Russian Aircraft

CNN Turkey Reports Ankara Downed Russian Aircraft
by Stephen Lendman
CNN Turkish television cited local and Syrian sources, saying Turkish aircraft intercepted the Russian plane after it allegedly crossed into Turkish airspace (something Moscow categorically denies), downing the plane in response.
If accurate, Ankara committed an act of war against Russia, its agenda polar opposite Moscow’s on Syria – allied with Washington’s regime change plan, along with seeking annexation of bordering Syrian territory. 
Both Russian pilots ejected after the incident. Turkish video footage showed the crash site, about five km from Turkey’s border – inside Syrian territory.
The area is populated by Syrian ethnic Turkmens. Clashes between government troops and terrorists are ongoing nearby. Video footage shows the plane caught fire, then crashed.
Western media picked up the story, saying Turkish warplanes downed the Russian aircraft. Reuters headlined “Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border, Moscow denies airspace violation,” saying:
“Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border on Tuesday after repeated warnings over airspace violations, but Moscow said it could prove the jet had not left Syrian air space.”
“It was the first time a NATO member’s armed forces have downed a Russian or Soviet military aircraft since the 1950s…” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the incident “very serious,” adding more information is needed before concluding precisely what happened.
A hostile Ankara statement said “(t)he data we have is very clear. There were two planes approaching our border. We warned them as they were getting too close.”
“We warned them to avoid entering Turkish airspace before they did, and we warned them many times. Our findings show clearly that Turkish airspace was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly.”
Moscow categorically denies the accusation. Russian military helicopters are looking for the downed pilots. RT International reported one is believed dead, the other in the hands of Turkmen forces in Syria.
A Russian Defense Ministry statement said “(d)uring the flight, the aircraft was flying within the borders of Syria, which was registered by objective monitoring data,” adding it was “supposedly shot down from the ground.”
More information is needed before drawing conclusions on precisely what happened. An accompanying article said if an anti-Assad nation was responsible, expect an appropriate Russian response.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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