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Syria Blamed for Turkish Provocation

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2012 at 8:31 PM


Syria Blamed for Turkish Provocation

by Stephen Lendman

On June 22, two Turkish warplanes provocatively entered Syrian airspace low and fast. Doing so showed hostile intent.

The Obama administration's dirty hands are all over this incident. Washington and Ankara wanted a reaction and got it. Expect what's ahead to unfold as planned.

Turkish officials claim Syria downed its aircraft in international waters. They lied.

A previous article said the Istanbul-based Hurriyet daily reported that "wreckage of a Turkish jet shot down by Syria (was found) in Syrian waters....Turkish news channels reported (it) on Sunday, without citing a source."

Doing so refutes claims that Syria acted in international waters.

On June 24, the UK government controlled BBC sent mixed messages. On the one hand, it reported high-level British and US condemnations.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague called Syria's act "outrageous." He stressed "how far beyond accepted behavior the Syrian regime has put itself."

Hillary Clinton said the following:

"The United States condemns this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security."

"We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable."

Ten paragraphs into its online report, BBC also said:

"The Turkish foreign ministry said it knew the coordinates of the jet, which was in Syrian territorial waters at a depth of 1,300m (4,265ft)..."

At the same time, it quoted Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying:

"According to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles (24km) from Syria."

Territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles from coastlines.

Downed aircraft, at depths of 4,265 feet at the bottom of the Mediterranean, don't move on their own one nautical mile (6,076 feet) in a matter of hours.

Davutoglu was caught red-handed in a bald-faced lie. BBC highlighted his comments. It noted the truth on three lines buried well into a detailed report. It featured misinformation, not truth and full disclosure.

US media scoundrels also suppressed the story. On June 24, Reuters headlined the truth in a two paragraph report, saying:

"Wreckage of downed Turkish jet found in Syrian waters: TV."

"Search teams have located the wreckage of a Turkish fighter jet shot down by Syria on Friday in Syrian waters at a depth of 1,300 meters, Turkish news channels reported on Sunday, without citing a source."

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined the same information, saying:

"Turkish TV: downed plane wreckage found in Syrian waters."

DF said Syria used Russian-made "self-propelled medium range anti-air Pantsyr-1 missiles...."

It's capable of downing aircraft and cruise missiles at altitudes up to 12 km.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said Turkish planes flew at an altitude of 100 meters. Anti-aircraft fire, nor radar-guided missiles, downed one. Unauthorized entering Syria's airspace "clear(ly) breach(es its) sovereignty.”

He added that Damascus seeks friendly relations with Ankara. It'll respond in kind to any positive overtures.

On June 24, CNN buried the truth, saying:

"Turkish search-and-rescue teams found the wreckage of the fighter jet in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday, about 1,300 meters (4,260 feet) underwater...."

Omitted was saying the aircraft was found in Syrian waters. Other major US media also suppressed what most needs explaining.

UK-based ITV News, without elaboration, said:

"Search and rescue teams have located the wreckage of downed Turkish jet in Syrian waters at a depth of 1,300 metres, according to Turkish TV."

Haaretz ran a more detailed June 24 Reuters report. Citing Turkish news channels, it said, without elaboration, that:

"Search teams have located the wreckage of a Turkish fighter jet in Syrian waters at a depth of 1,300 meters...."

On June 24, The New York Times buried the news in a report headlined "Turkey to Consult NATO Over Downing of Jet by Syria," saying:

Emergency talks will be held.

"(V)isual and communications date had confirmed that (the) aircraft was struck by Syrian antiaircraft weapons outside of Syrian airspace."

It added that aircraft wreckage was found without explaining where.

The Washington Post replicated The Times headlining "Turkey calls for emergency NATO meeting over Syria downing of jet."

"Investigations....suggested that it was not an accident or a mistake, and that Syria was aware it was firing at a Turkish plane....without warning...."

Downing the plane in international waters was stressed despite evidence proving otherwise.

It quoted Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal saying:

"It was an act of war. They shot down a plane over international waters, and this is unacceptable. (Turkey) reserves the right to respond."

According to Brookings Doha Center director Salman Shaikh:

"....Syria has now presented NATO with a pretext for involvement that could potentially bypass the United Nation."

"Assad has made a very big mistake. He's shown the very real dangers of this regime to its neighborhood."

Former US Turkish ambassador Ross Wilson said downing the plane "further escalat(es) tensions (and) rais(es) the stakes for Turkish leaders who have heretofore limited themselves to diplomatic efforts and mostly quiet support for Syrian refugees and opposition leaders."

Ross, in fact, knows Turkey runs point for Washington's war on Syria. It supplies weapons and training.

It provides safe havens. Insurgents launch cross-border raids, then return.

Turkey is complicit in crimes of war and against humanity. What's next remains unknown.

"Will it end up in war," asked Hurriyet?

"(I)t's not that far yet."

However, it's clear that Ankara won't let "Syria get away with the incident."

It claims Syria's attack was "deliberate and it should pay for it."

"Payment does not necessarily mean war, there are other options."

"Turkey doesn't want war, but is keeping all options on the table."

Turkey "will do everything to make Syria pay for the attack...."

On June 24, Today's Zaman (TZ) headlined "Turkey protests Syria over jet attack, seeks NATO response," saying:

"Turkey dismissed on Sunday Syrian statements that a military jet downed in the eastern Mediterranean on Friday was in Syrian territorial waters, saying the unarmed plane was shot down in international airspace without warning while on a solo mission to test Turkey's radar system and that the mission had no connection with the crisis in the neighboring country."

The comment defies reality. The report nearly ducked Hurriyet and Turkish television saying wreckage was found in Syrian waters.

Paragraphs into the article, it said with no elaboration:

"Officials said the wreckage of the plane was 1,300 meters underwater on the seabed in Syrian waters, although it was not yet found when Today’s Zaman went into print."

What should have been headlined got short shrift. Most readers likely missed it.

Churchill was almost right, saying:

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

Even fully clothed, a tsunami of lies buries it. Headlines repeat them. Truth is suppressed or hardly noticed. Scoundrel media bear full responsibility.

A Final Comment

London-based Middle East analyst Peter Eyre calls Turkey's provocation "a possible 'False Flag' incident to justify an action against Syria."

It's coming, he believes, despite its legitimate response under international law, including UN Charter provisions.

Washington planned regime change years ago. Key NATO partners willingly go along. They're "hell bent into forcing yet another Libya style (conflict) all in the name of misinformation....."

Naked aggression looms. If Turkey's provocation isn't pretext enough, look for others to point fingers the wrong way for war.

Eyre calls it a "New World Order....master take out many (regional) countries that are not user friendly towards the west or countries that do not have the western fraudulent banking system in situ or (that) do not give lucrative oil and gas contracts to western countries."

How far into Syrian territory Turkish warplanes penetrated isn't known. Very likely they were well within the 12 nautical mile limit, then reversed course when Syrian defenses spotted them and reacted.

Damascus acted according to international law provisions. Turkish warplanes were threatening. Flying fast and low showed clear hostile intent. Scoundrel media bury the truth.

Eyre is right saying Syria isn't Libya. Its military is strong and capable. Full-scale intervention could launch general war "with Russia, China and Iran standing firmly should to shoulder with" their regional ally.

Irresponsible Western leaders may attack anyway. Doing so could threaten humanity. Imagine officials willing to risk it. Imagine the potential consequences.

TS Eliot (1888 - 1965) once said:

"This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper."

He wasn't up to speed on US imperial intentions and leaders willing to risk all going for broke.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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