Ominous Warning: Russian Air Power in Ukraine

17-Seconds Over Turkey: Invisible Lines to Article 5

18-July 2016: Two Turkish pilots involved in the downing of the Russian Air Force Su-24 in November 2015 have been arrested as part of a larger failed internal coup in Turkey.

31-Jan 2016: The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a second Russian aircraft (a Su-34) crossed into NATO airspace over Turkey on 29-Jan; Moscow denies the claim. Turkey has placed its air force on orange alert.

We have repeatedly warned that Turkey can throttle NATO into a military confrontation with Russia to advance a Turkish-Gulf State regional gas-pipeline strategy in Syria. 

In the larger geopolitical context, NATO enmeshment with Turkey-Syria is totally unacceptable. There is zero public support in the US to rush to the aid of the Turks over small Russian incursions - and none of this Russia-Turkey-NATO escalation - serves the American public interest. None of it. Russian aircraft can be escorted out of Turkish airspace in a civilized manner.

We are already way (way) over the line in Syria. To some wishing for a shooting war between Turkey and Russia, and NATO and Russia - you may yet - still get your wish.
More details are emerging of the incident. The THK CAP package nearby did indeed receive a “shoot down” order – however, “encountered problems “during the intercept.  The order was then relayed to another CAP package nearby, but the intruding Su-34 was already back in Syrian airspace.
In addition, four Su-35S Advanced Flanker fighters from 23rd Fighter Aviation Regiment and support personnel have been deployed to Hmeymim AB Syria, presumably to buttress Russian air operations from THK/NATO fighters. Whether they will rotate in for the existing four Su-30SMs based in Syria is unknown as of yet. There could be an unknown number of Su-27SM3 in Syria as well. If so - they have remained out of public view.

[Above] Pro-government forces leaflet drop over the city of Daraa near the Jordanian border. This is what we like to see!! [Below] Wreckage of a spent AIM-120C-5 missile round recovered in Turkey (Kışlak village, near Yayladağı). Somebody is throwing around AIM-120s. Shooting at the SyAAF is one thing - shooting at the Russians is quite something else. This is most likely an old round from 24 April 2014 shootdown of a SyAAF MiG-23MF over Turkey.
"The AIM-120C-5 is a C-4 with a slightly larger motor in the new WPU-16/B propulsion section and a new shorter WCU-28/B control section with compressed electronics and ECCM upgrades."
[Above/Below] The Russian Air Force Su-35S is equipped with the a phased array (Irbis-E) radar. The aircraft is produced by Sukhoi. Things could get very dicey near the Turkish-Syria border.
This series of photos taken en route from an accompanying Tu-154. The big question for THK and NATO planners is what type of weapon loadout will/could these aircraft employ?
04-Feb 2016: [Below] New video has appeared showing Su-35S in Syria operating with R-77 (NATO: 'AA-12 Adder') Active Radar Homing medium-range missile rounds (on the inner wing pylons) together with R-27 IR homing (NATO: 'Alamo-B/D') medium-range rounds on the adjacent pylon(s). See our initial observations on the R-77/R-27 further down in this reading.

24-Nov 2015: With the shoot down by a Turkish F-16 of a Russian Air Force Su-24M Fencer at the Syrian-Turkish border as part of the Syrian Civil War – we have crossed and invisible line, that no one knows where it leads
[Above] This photo appeared on front page newspapers all over the world. The aircraft's wing is in full forward sweep. Because events are moving quickly, we must write and rewrite repeatedly. Please excuse as we may publish material still being edited.

Even with this event - because the allied coalition refuses to insert ground force in Syria - it cannot defeat Daesh or exert meaningful post-war political leverage. In addition - because Russia has a better strategy AND forces on the ground - this is an all Kremlin show. The first major superpower showdown since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war - appears will go in Russia's favor - and end a disastrous Western 'regime-change' orthodoxy beginning in the 2003 (actually as far back as the 1950s with the Shah). We've now had a second international incident over Syria. 
[Below] This photo is purporting to be the crash site - but terrain appears inconsistent with where the Su-24 went down (which is hilly and wooded). What is also somewhat interesting is nearly all images come from north of the event (that being close to - or inside Turkey).
Misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda are all (all) tools of war. We'll do our best to report facts - but it can take time to filter through. We may publish during editing - please excuse. 
[Above] RuAF VSK Su-24M "white 83" was the aircraft purportedly struck by a Turkish air-to-air missile(s) - one which detonated (by proximity fuse) under the aircraft. The Turks claim it was an AIM-120C-7 shot from the side and the Russians say it was an AIM-9(X) series from the back. It could be both. There is a large dispute as to what RWR/ECM suite the 24M was fitted, and was it operating. Both sides are going to evaluate what happened and make changes. A perpendicular air-to-air missile shot is the most difficult type. 

History of escalation between NATO and Syrian/Russian forces:

On 22 June 2012  THK RF-4E-TM violates Syrian airspace and is shot down (after exiting Syrian airspace) by a Syrian SA-3 (initial reports were 57mm radar directed AAA). Same day Syrian SA-3 fires at a THK CN-235 turbo-prop that is searching for the downed crew, and must take evasive action.

In October 2012 Assadist artillery shells Turkish border villages in Akcakale area, killing 5 and injuring ~ 12 civilians.

In the following months Syrian fighter-bombers make a number of violations into Turkish airspace including SyAAF Su-24MK2s (which flew several times over the border), a MiG-25R, and numerous Mi-8/17s helicopters. SyAAF MiG-29s and various Syrian SAM-sites also lock onto THK fighters that are underway inside Turkey.

Ankara warned of further provocations announces a new 'war mode' ROEs (NATO approval?) which results in the downing SyAAF Mi-8/17 helicopter on 16 September 2013. 

24 April 2014 THK shoots down a SyAAF MiG-23MF violating Turkish airspace over the town of Yayladagi.

27 March 2015 an unknown ballistic missile crashed into Hatay province in Turkey, hitting homes. Five civilians injured. NATO Patriot PAC-2 SAM batteries fail to react.

16 May 2015 THK F-16s shoot down a Syrian (or Russian) UAV inside Turkish airspace, and then a second UAV in mid-October.

24 Nov 2015 THK F-16s shoot down a VKS (Russian Su-24M) that strays over Turkish airspace for two 17-second time-periods, at low airspeed. The Russian plane crashes in Syria. One Russian crew is KIA (shot in parachute) and rescuer.

31 Jan 2016 Turkey says a Russian Su-34 flies into Turkish/NATO airspace. Another shoot-down order is issued, however, the THK fighters encounter 'a problem' during the intercept. Russian aircraft returns to Syrian airspace.

13 Feb 2016 Turkey begins shelling positions inside Syria near A'zaz.

Possible new entry [26 Feb 2016 Wreckage of AIM-120C-5 recovered at Kışlak village, near Yayladağı Turkey. Something (possibly a drone) may have been shot down near Iskandaroun.

[Editor Note] Turkish artillery is shelling YPG/SDF/JAT positions on some 15-20 points around Azaz. Does this not by default act as artillery fire support for whoever is in Azaz? The question is who currently controls Azaz? Currently is appears to be al-Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra (Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and Islamic Front and FSyA? At least two of these groups are Salafi-Jihadists and al-Qaeda goes without saying. Meanwhile ISIS is moving west inside Syria along the Turkish border. Is Turkey shelling ISIS also?

[Below] The urge in military circles and in the fighter pilot community in particular - to retaliate (no matter the belligerents) is enormous. This Su-30SM has something written as much, on this R-27 round reading, "Excuse us, Recep' (Erdogan)" [The writing on the R-27 missile round could be faked (Photoshop'd) - but our point still stands] 
We have been taking a close look at the missile round armament on the Su-30SM deployment in Syria. The Su-30SM Flanker aircraft itself - is superb - but its missile armament could (could) be 20 years old. We're just not sure what upgrades (if any) are inside these R-73 and R-27 bodies. Rumor is the R-73 (closest to camera) is a newer weapon designated "RVV-MD" - and so has never encountered by the West. Also the R-27 might have been improved to be very (very) fast. The concern would be if the Russians have figured out something in illumination of target and/or in defeating Active Radar Homing (ARH) missiles like AIM-120 series (as both the Su-30 and Su-34 operate with wingtip "Khibiny" jamming pods, the Su-24 does not) and have shelved new ARH missiles for now. But again - we're just not sure. [Below] Su-35S employs both R-77 (ARH) and R-27T (IR homing). This combination was a complete shock to most Western observers. This Su-30SM and Su-35S combination with their different weapon load outs - creates a complex threat environment for an opponent (read: the Turks). 

The problem here is the Turks don not get a 'gold-star' as far as airspace incursions of others. This appears to us to be a reckless deliberate incident by Ankara. Again we believe there is over a 50% probability that Turkish warplanes - soon will be downed by the Russians (to settle the score). Is NATO ready for WWII so the Turks can win in Syria? We think not so much. Ankara pretty much bought the farm. In addition the Turks were using guard frequencies the Russians did not (or could not) listen to. Another problem that appeared avoidable on both sides?
VKS Su-24M White '49'  BAAIAP Syria 22-Dec 2015.
Either the Turks (NATO) know who they are shooting at - or they do not. 

Our sense is they have a very good idea who they are shooting at - because they have not shot down any allied aircraft or civilian air traffic.

With all the Russian aircraft flying around - shooting at SyAAF 'bogeys' is one thing - but shooting at RuAF ‘bogeys’ could start WWIII. 

NATO really needs to be careful here. We think the (NATO) alliances will fracture if this continues.

What is the Turk ROE? Will NATO back-it if it causes escalation with Russia?

No one in the United States wants a war with Russia to defend a Turkish ROE.  If NATO does not intervene to control the Turks - that is precisely what could happen.

The historians will be scathing...

NATO leadership should assign the Pulitzer prize book ‘The Guns of August’ (by Barbara Tuchman) as mandatory reading for itself.
VKS Su-34 Blue '03' BAAIAP Syria 22-Dec 2015
There is an endless stream of assertions and video purporting Russian aircraft deliberately targeting civilians and hospitals while making little progress on the ground. There is no doubt hospitals will be hit. It is perhaps also that many in the West long for the days of the 'Soviets in Afghanistan' - and would like to see that repeated for Syria (a war in Afghanistan NATO has already lost by the way). What is more likely from the Russians is something closer to the Second Chechen War, Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and the 2008 Georgia war - and not another AfghanistanThere are elements in the American intelligence apparatus that would smugly prefer to bog down (or otherwise make a difficult as possible) Russian intervention in Syria. Hard facts on the ground are difficult to distinguish presently - but opposition forces and Daesh can not win any longer, it just a matter of time now. The clock is running for the Kremlin to achieve its military (and therefore political) objectives in Syria - as the American 2016 election is looming, and we could see a large military move in Syria by a new American administration.
22-Feb 2016: Rumors of bellicose behavior [locking onto each other] between THK F-16s and VKS Su-30SM /Su-35S fighters on the Syrian-Turkish border. S-300s missiles may have been fired towards Turkish warplanes. This is the precise issue we have been warning about for a long (long) time.

19-Feb 2016: Der Spiegel is reporting that Saudi intends to introduce MANPADs into Syria.

16-Feb 2016: [Below] RuAF Tu-214R SIGINT spotted in the Syrian theater. The Tu-214R closest Western equivalents might be the RC-135/JSTARS.
15-Feb 2016: [Below] Russian cluster munitions hitting Haritan, Aleppo. Our hope is this was preceded by a leaflet drop some hours before (?)

09-Feb 2016 [Below] New Pantsyr-S2 with bidirectional radar deployed to Syria.

02/03-Feb 2016: [Below] Massive government push along a huge front north and east of Aleppo. This map showing the Rayyan pocket.
Russian air power has been hammering rebel resupply assets. Russian supplied T-90 tanks are also being employed. This could be to date, the largest offensive and battle of the war. Whatever civilians in the area they must be allowed to flee. ISIS has begun pressuring Deir Ezzor in the east, where the regime has forced conscription there of males aged 18 to 45.
[Below] Some new type of electro-optical jammer/warning-system of unknown origin is now being employed on Syrian government armor; presumably to thwart or warn tank crews they are being painted by a hostile optically-guided ATGM (like the American made TOW). More pictures here.
It is most likely is an IR jammer that disrupts the IR beacon of SACLOS (Semi-automatic command to line of sight) ATGMs like the BGM-71 TOW series - during terminal stage of flight. This disruption confuses steering signals being giving to the missile as it flies and causes the weapon to go unguided ballistic. This could be another key factor in this offensive; Syrian amour can operate undisrupted at stand-off ranges.
30-Jan 2016: [Below] Heavy fighting near Hama in the Al-Rastan Plains. Many loosely and non-aligned rebel groups and have now merged in an attempt to repel government forces
Again, facts are difficult to determine, but something is occurring (ie heavy fighting) near Hama. Also more dangerous back and forth between NATO (Turkey) and Russia (while Turkish media elects to show footage of a Japanese F-4 regarding the incident). This has likely more to do with events on the ground in Syria going against Turkish interests. We shall see. To those still dreaming of a shooting war between NATO and Russia; you may yet get your wish.
25-Jan 2016: [Above/Below] T-22M3 (NATO: Backfire-C) bomber strike. Purportedly on Daesh elements in the east, but the precise targets are unclear presently.

22-Jan 2016  Reports that someone hit the Bab al-Hawa (Syria-Turkey) border crossing with two SS-21 (OTR-21 Tochka) tactical ballistic missiles. Most likely candidates would be the 155th Missile Brigade (Syria) or the Russians. Reportedly at least 12 killed and many more injured. Rumor is they were trying to hit Islamist rebel leadership having a meeting there.
The population density map [above] can be useful in assessing the Russian briefing [below].

09-Jan 2016: Large offensive by pro-government forces underway in the south at Daraa and Sheikh Mishkin north of the Jordanian border. Humanitarian situation worsening in contested areas.

We have viewed literally hundred of uploaded videos of fighting in Syria on all sides. The better equipment and larger number of smiling faces on pro-government soldiers lately - tells the real story. The sheer weight of combat power now being brought to bear – will by definition not only see more civilian deaths – but will lead to only one outcome.

31-Dec 2015: Reports that now both 9K33 Osa (NATO reporting name: SA-8 Gecko) SAM systems captured by Syria opposition forces have been destroyed. The second with a BETAB-500 concrete piercing bomb. No confirmation as of yet.

[Below] 0:00 - Pantsir-S1, 1:15 - S-400

27-Dec 2015: Reports (unconfirmed) that Russia has deployed their 'A-50E' AWACS over Syria. The Beriev A-50 (NATO reporting name “Mainstay”) is a Russian Airborne early warning and control (AEW) aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76. This could (could) be a prelude to introducing MiG-31 in-theater.
17-Dec 2015: We predicted the deployment of modern Russian air defenses (including the S-300 and S-400) would force big changes on CENTCOM air operations. The American F-22A "Stealth fighter" appears to be of little (or of no) consequence either. Indeed please see here. Also 'regime change' is now "off the table" by Washington due to Russian intervention. 'No regime change' is also being pursued by Saudi Arabia and the U.S. in Yemen.
VKS Su-34 Red '24' BAAIAP Syria 22-Dec 2015
16-Dec 2015: The Pentagon reverses its decision and pulls out twelve US Air Force F-15 aircraft from Incirlik AB Turkey. Excellent move. A bunch of fighter jocks flying around looking to show the world "who’s boss" is a recipe for disaster. It is already bad enough with the VKS and the THK. The Eagle deployment at Incirlik was going to be nothing but trouble. To those seeking a war with the Russia - you may yet - get your wish.

15-Dec 2015: A very interesting article making some counterclaims on Russian progress. There could upwards of 5000 Russian fighters in Syria to date. Another story on more female fighters in Syria - God Bless Them! Get some anti-material riles in the hands of these female fighters!
VKS Su-34 BAAIAP Syria 22-Dec 2015. Aircraft in foreground has 120-mission markings
14-Dec 2015: Syria Army recaptures helicopter base in the south from Jaysh Al-Islam fighters.

11-Dec 2015: While Western governments argue on what to do about ISIS, the city of Homs has fallen to pro-government forces this week and Russia has restored a tank repair plant there. It appears water civil-infrastructure purportedly has also been hit by the Russians in other parts of the country (not good). Also more Su-34s have purportedly arrived, clearer photos of this should appear soon.

08-Dec 2015: On the heels of the Su-24 shoot-down, we now have a second East-West international incident over Syria. Both sides accusing the other. Mistakes, miscalculation, and a whole array of dangerous assumptions (on both sides) can spin out-of-control. We are already way (way) over the line in Syria. If CENTCOM/NATO starts to hit Assad - this would propel us into war with the Russians.

07-Dec 2015: Purportedly black box recovered from the downed Su-24M (White 83). According to this source 18 THK (Turkish Air Force) F-16s are now on patrol along the southern Turkish border with Syria. This could be misinformation/disinformation, as this is a high number of jets. If the THK is above Syrian and Russian radar – air patrol (save fuel). If below Syrian and Russian radar – the THK is looking for more trouble (high fuel use). We shall see.

05-Dec 2015: Conjecture continues to spin around why only No.2 Su-24 was hit if the second AIM-120C-7 that missed (and surly landed in Syria) has already made it way to Russia along with the dead pilot? If the second American missile is recoverable - this could be another game-changer for NATO. If/when the Russian get a hold that second AIM-120 (depending on what remains of it) effectively the entire AIM-120 program can be compromised (read: effective ECM quietly deployed in proceeding weeks ) as to make the wider NATO AIM-120 fleet – no longer combat capable (against Russian aircraft). Our sources say it was in single shot - but history suggests otherwise. We might find out soon enough.

02-Dec 2015: [ACIG] NATO is announcing deployment of its E-3 Sentry AWACS to Turkey, and bolstering two Spanish PAC-2 Patriot SAM-sites near Adana with additional systems of that type. Germany and France are reported to have requested basing permission for Incirlik AB (Tuk). The German parliament is still discussing deployment of six (6) Tornado ECR for early January. France wants logistical support for her carrier 'Charles de Gaulle' via the Turkish port of Tasucu (Mersin province).

The UK announces offensive operations in Syria out of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. A total of 10 Tornado GR4 and 6 Typhoons will take part. Good luck finding targets? The deployment is symbolic and its real purpose appears to be to impose Western regime-change orthodoxy on the Kremlin plan for Syria. We have been very (very) alarmed at the type and amount of combat power in the region, in far (far) too close proximity. NATO/CENTCOM doesn’t want to insert ground forces – so this is Kremlin containment force – not an authentic anti-ISIL operation?

There are way too many aircraft flying around with air-to-air weapons. We (the public) don't have any idea how many close calls are occurring hour to hour.

[Below] New video has appeared showing Su-34 fighter-bombers for the first time with mix of air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry (sometimes referred to as a 'Armed-Reconnaissance' loadout). The question now - what is the RuAF ROE (Rules of Engagement) / Air Tasking Orders - as of 25-Nov? It would appear it would include air-to-air (so that means NATO/CENTOM), but specifically the Turks. We can assure you that all manner of Pentagon and Foreign Technology Division (FTD) people are all very animated now - running around at Turkish air bases. The electro-optical TV-guided munitions on the inner Fullback stations is the KAB-500KR.

It is really time for the US to leave Syria before something very bad happens? Obama - just get our people out of Syria, please.

01-Dec 2015: We have a possible escalating situation with reports of Turkey blockading all Russian Black Sea shipping (Montreaux Convention?). If true this isn't going to end well. Article 5 is in the back of everyone's mind?

30-Nov 2015: CENTCOM has now published operations since 24-Nov that indicate it was indeed flying post-24-Nov over Syria. However, Syrian strikes have tailed-off sharply (?) and appear effectively restricted to NE in support of the Kurds. ( Reports of RuAF strikes also supporting the YPG (Kurds) that (may) also include heavy weapons deliveries. Sorry Turks - we love the Kurds! [ACIG] "Russians are indeed supporting US-supported Kurdish/Sunni Arab forces, fighting other Syrian insurgents. RuAF and SyAAF have been heavily bombing Palmyra, since yesterday: 40 air strikes reported from that area."

29-Nov 2015: It appears that CENTCOM had suspended air strikes in Iraq and Syria the day after the shoot-down. CENTCOM is reporting no air strikes after 24-Nov (the 24th being the day of the shoot down) while there have been strikes everyday before that. Looks like somebody at the Pentagon has decided to hit the brakes on all this? - and that an ISIS safe-haven is not worth (another) mishap with the Russians. At least for the time being? The S-400 deployment would (now) also be worrisome for allied planners.

Rumor of large Turkish troop movements. No confirmation. [Below] Current Turkish deployments (ACIG) are likely supporting anti-Kurdish ops.
26-Nov 2015: [Below] In response Russia has deployed one of its crown-jewel air defense systems to Syria, the S-400 Triumf (Russian: C-400 «Триумф», Triumph; NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) This system has never been exported. It can reportedly engage any aerial object (terrain permitting) out to 400 km (~248 mi). The system used three different interceptor missile-rounds depending on the target, and has some ABM capabilities. It is a near certainty that a technical team from the manufacture are on the ground in Syria to optimizes the S-400 system for the Syrian theater (read: to counter probable threat/threat-responses). Expect employment of S-400 decoys as well.

[Below] S-400 engagement envelope (terrain permitting).
There are conflicting accounts of what occurred over Turkey/Syrian border (this is not unusual). Radar images were released. Open questions to date:
  • Flight time of either an AIM-120C-7 or an AIM-9 (from pulling the trigger out to 30 km)  must be at least 20-30 seconds. 
  • The Turks ROE (Rules Of Engagement) was to shoot before (or near, or after) the target enters Turkish airspace? 
  • Looking the second red track exiting Turkish air space (not hit) – of the No.1 lead Su-24 - why is it not attacked - given the Turk ROE (If the ROE is to shoot before or near their airspace) as the remaining lead Sukhoi skimming the border - about to 'presumably' re-enter Turkish airspace (just north of Nibh Almu)?
  • What was the loiter altitude of the F-16s?
  • Can Su-24 hear UHF guard? 
Image:Turkey Armed Forces
  • Also, one needs to be flying toward the target, get a weapons lock, wait - then fox, and then fox again. That takes-up even more of the 17 second time. The Turks did fire two missiles.

Image:New York Times
Image:Russian MOD
  • Honestly, the Turks must have thought through some form of escalation path IF they hit one of the Su-24s?
We are not prepared to believe the Russian version of events at this point - we shall see. Given the information available it appears that Russian aircraft did enter Turkish airspace. But that doesn’t mean you start shooting - at the Russians. It’s the Russians; you know Ballistic missile submarines Russia, thousands of ICBMs Russia, smashed the Panzer armies Russia. Are the Turks crazy?!?
So THIS is where I think Turkey had some assurances or support from a handful of technical people from Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, some USAF, and intelligence people – it feels like a planned provocation because of only a 5-second margin (or less) - and due to the context of 'the stakes so high.'

Excuse us if we hold NATO to a higher standard of behavior?

They fired two missiles and then skulked away? The Turks are member of NATO. If there were no Americans overseeing this - in Turkey - what does this say about NATO ability to be a professional stabilizing entity? Do we have just an expanding out-of-control-member treaty alliance? "Do whatever you want to - and who knows what we'll do?" Sounds great (eye-roll). The problems of membership and managing a large military treaty alliance, has been all too evident for some time. 
  • USAF F-15Cs were sent to Turkey for what purpose? 
  • The outcome so far is the Russians have moved in S-300 (on ship) and S-400. 
  • Indeed the purported crash site image looks too dry and flat - should be hilly and wooded.

[Above] This makes a total of twelve F-15 at Incirlik. The stage is now set for a RuAF 'Flanker'  vs USAF 'Eagle' showdown - something many would rather avoid.

Even forgetting all this – assuming the Turks are justified, and it all went to plan - this isn’t going to end well. 

What a mess...

TuAF aircraft involved. [Above] F-16C [Below] B737-700 "Peace Eagle" AEW.
26-Nov 2015: Detail to date courtesy of ACIG:

- two or three F-16 were involved.

- They were certainly supported by one of B737-700 AEW.

- They intercepted a formation of two Su-24Ms (unclear if either of the two was M2 or SVP-24, or one of 'vanilla' Su-24Ms deployed at BAAIAP), underway at an altitude of 6,000m.

- The Russian Number 1 turned away from Turkey moments before engagement, Number 2 didn't follow his flight lead but continued in western direction - and was shot down. 

- The missile fired by Turks was apparently an AIM-120C-7, launched from about 15-20km (definitely BVR, then Turks report they didn't know what were they engaging).

- The downed Su-24M is said to have been bort '19', flown by Lt Col [withheld], and Capt [withheld]. Both ejected, but Lt Col [withheld] was shot in his chute by a small group of Turkish Jihadists that have sided with the JAN.

- During the CSAR op for the downed crew, Russians lost one of two Mi-8ATMSh and two Mi-24s involved. This was bort '252' (RF-95601), together with one of 12 crew members and Marines on board: [name withheld] was shot in the neck and KIA. The helicopter made an emergency landing, was evacuated, and then knocked out by a TOW fored by the 1st (Turkomen) Coastal Division of the Free Syrian Army.

- The downed helicopter crew, and Muratkin, were subsequently extracted by a team of 12 Syrian and 6 Hezbollah/Lebanon 'special force' operators."

24-Nov 2015: Was a very long day. [Above]  In attempting to control events regarding the Syrian Civil War, Turkey shoots down a Russian Su-24M near the Syrian-Turkish border. The trailing second Su-24 escaped. Both Russian aircrew ejected over Syria but one was killed as both were shot at in their chutes by Turkmen rebels (chanting"Allahu Akbar!"). [update - one pilot has survived and is safe]. We have warned repeatedly that the Turks will attempt to throttle NATO (including the US) into a military confrontation with Russia, by Turkey leveraging its NATO status. With events on the ground in Syria turning against Turkish interests - a gas-pipeline (from Qatar, through Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey, to the EU) - something Assad will not allow through Syria - Turkey attempts a zero-sum game in the region and threatens a wider military confrontation - to get its way. This is extremely serious and beyond stupidity by Ankara. Turkey just bought the farm? Also Russians lost an Mi-8 rescue helicopter in the northern mountains near the crash site, it was a forced landing, one crew member dead. Russia has re-positioned the guided-missile cruiser 'Moskva' equipped with an S-300 class air-defense system, directly off the Syrian coast as a SAM umbrella.
From now on RuAF attack sorties will also be covered by Su-30s flying fighter-sweep/CAP. Expect the Turkish air force to suffer losses shortly?

(25-Nov) Before we start wrapping ourselves in a NATO or American flag - Turkeys role in the conflict is a gigantic problem. One can correctly bash the Russians for not bombing the Daesh, but Turkey does not bomb them either. The Turks instead bomb the most effective anti-Daesh (non-Jihadi) force on the ground - the Kurds. Ankara lets fuel tanker-trucks and Salafi-jihadist pass through its border. 

We also think we need a minimum floor of behavior by all groups in Syria before they can be considered worthy of protection or part of a post-war solution. That being - they do not shoot (at) people in their parachutes.

We are still attempting to deconstruct the shoot-down incident. The two Su-24 reacted differently. Our sense is after reading a mountain of historical aerial-warfare accounts – this shoot-down event isn’t over. Outside what our leaders may say, inside military ranks, they are planning their revenge. It appears Russia and NATO (Turkey) did not coordinate which guard channels were to be monitored. We find this explanation somewhat unlikely. Russian and CENTCOM have twice-a-day meetings – so that this information was not passed to a NATO member (the Turks) appears dubious.

What will be immediately apparent in Russia is - for Russia to sustain and protect its arms and aircraft industry - the Russians could (will) be compelled to retaliate against the Turks?

Why? Else the argument will go "the Americans, the Pentagon, and its arms manufactures will frame the global narrative that US military technology is superior over Russian military technology (regardless of facts) – and its higher price justified." The Pentagon already has a name for it “Full Spectrum Dominance.” And as of 24-Nov 2015 - they'll also be backed by the history books.

Some will also say the Indian Air Force and other very important operators of Russian aerospace products (and that counter-balance Pakistan and China) – will remain extremely concerned if US front-line technology is not defeated (under actual combat conditions) like was the F-117A in the Balkans. The image of a flaming Russian fighter, across the front page of the world's newspapers - is not some a crash at an air show. 

Rather than displaying apprehension (or even anger at Turkish recklessness) - I can assure you Americans weapon developers, and too many in the US military are high-fiving themselves instead. The fear is this event occurred with close hands-on US military/manufacturer guidance and preparation.

While we are no fan of  Bashar Al-Assad - 'regime change' orthodoxy must be stopped. It’s already killed over half a million people in Iraq, Libya, Syria – and unleashed a Jihadist-whirlwind butchering-rampage both inside and outside the region. 

Some would argue that Turkish/US fighters will be shot down near the Turkish/Syrian border soon, otherwise the Pentagon and Washington will become more brazen and a no-fly-zone could be forcibly attempted over Syria - especially after the US presidential election. 

And then - things get worse…

The Russian Su-24 would have crossed Turkish airspace for only a few seconds, so we are dubious of the "10 warnings" assertion by Western sources. It is not possible. Because of the nature of this shoot-down – it was an ambush planned long ago. Our sense is Russia will (must) respond. Again, none of this serves the American public interest. We need to get out of this mess before it spins evermore out of control.

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  1. There is still no word about the type of AA missile used in the incident. Looking at the radar log images and the distance probably a sidewinder ?

    I guess su-24s don't have the ability to perform in a hostile airspace without fighter cover. So it is logical to say
    that Russians were not expecting this ? (Assuming they don't want their jet shot down.)

    Also could we expect more fighter deployment from Russia together with the S-400 and Moskva ?

    Funny thing that the S-400 and the additional naval deployment will pass through bosphorus. (Unless Turkey declares war)

    1. Well, the tall guy will not let them commies to pass through the bosphorus. Put that into your mind, our great country is no longer a weak one.

  2. Turkey really f*cked up because now Russia is openly assisting Turkish biggest enemy, the YPG (Kurds). The Kurds are advancing against Turkey's proxies in Syria with the help of RuAF. The first sign of this was the airstrike on the Azaz convoy.
    We will be witnessing YPG advances backed by RuAF. As of now, they are attempting to seize Azaz.

    PS. It's amazing how the Kurds (YPG) are receiving support from both the US and the Russians.

    1. That has happened before. YPG (PKK) received aid from both Russia and USA in the mid 90s. Their problem is they never managed to form a long lasting alliance with any of them.

  3. As far as I know missles have a self destruct function. When it misses its target it should destruct itself.

  4. Im just curious, would the Russians able to salvage any useful information from the remains of the 120. And if they can, would this be useful information for jamming this particular missile? Secondly... I know this picture was recently just posted. But does anyone know if it was from a recent event? Or the second rumoured missile that was shot at the su 24?

    1. Yes and yes. As far as when it was shot, unknown.
      - Boresight

  5. Su-24 episode was so crazy and incredible just to imagine. Someone tried to test wwIII start-switch. Better to test something else I think.
    Any way accident dynamic is still largly unknown, and may be it'll be for a long time. y

    1. During the coup attempt, the aircrews involved in the shoot down were reportedly arrested. This was one of the most frightening events since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Very very reckless and dangerous by NATO (member). Russian aircraft should have been escorted away in an adult fashion. The event shows a complete lack of understanding of geopolitical context. Reckless stupidity by Turkish and American officials. The shoot down would have involved technical teams from Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and the US Air Force (all) on the ground in Turkey. Idiots. - Boresight

    2. Hi obrescIa, we are living weird times indeed. Anyway russian air corp in syria is performing well against terror groups. Inerent resolve operation is not. About turkey: are we going To see many changes in foreign relations? Y


    Hi obrescia, this One has same idea than you. Turkey was not alone during the crazy planning. Y


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