Russian Trainers in Syria Downed Turkish F-4 Using Pantsir-1 (SA-22)
It was in 2007, that Syria ordered 50 Pantsyr-1 missiles defense systems, aka SA-22. The deal was in millions of dollars. However, not all would be sent to Syria, 10 were sent to Iran, which also partially subsidized the deal to avoid weapon sanctions. Iran gave Syria money, Syria ordered them.
Around June 10, 2012, the Russian defense minister disclosed that some of the weapon systems would be finally arriving in Syria after a long delay. While he said they were for defense only, he clearly hinted they are more than capable of shooting down aircraft. It is not Russia's most sophisticated system. The timing is curious, for on the 22nd, a Turkish F-4 was shot down a few miles off the Syrian coast. Turkish aircraft have been buzzing around the area of the Russian naval base and elsewhere in "spy" mode with impunity, until now.
Because of the Syrian internal war and because the weapon systems are complicated enough to require time consuming training, it is clear that Russian trainers no doubt operated and fired the missiles downing the F-4. It was meant as a message to Turkey that their flights near Syrian airspace or near the Russian naval base will no longer be tolerated. All this implies that Russia is more than willing to become more belligerent in this Syrian uprising and are hypercritical when they state that all foreign powers should stay out of it. Oh, they are exempted,
But the Syrian uprising is going to succeed. The opposition, by some accounts, have 30,000 fighters in numerous groups and small arms. A Syrian colonel flew his Mig 21 to Jordan. He will no doubt provide good intelligence. Four other high ranking officers have now defected and the small groups of armed fighters get weapons from several Arab countries who hate Assad. The opposition groups control much of the countryside in some areas and Assad's loyal military cannot go on forever-an uprising can, it has for 15 months!
Russia's involvement can make things far worse and force NATO or Turkey to counter Putin.
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