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Russian Trainers in Syria Downed Turkish F-4 Using Pantsir-1 (SA-22)

Updated on July 2, 2012

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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    • Nick Hanlon profile image

      Nick Hanlon 5 years ago from Chiang Mai

      Ahhhh....those pesky Ruskies....always up to no good.Proves they refuse to accept that they lost the Cold War but we all know that they can't mount anything more than this really.The F-4,whilst flown by some brave Turkish pilots who I am saddened to see die,is an outmoded airplane.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Those are big guns! I think the Russians are behind other events around the world as well. Syria has some advantage if they have Russian backing.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Syria now claims they did not know it was a Turkish jet until they had fired, I guess, ask questions later. The whole thing seems to be just sending out a warning shot, downing an aircraft, then, saying "sorry" let us help you look for the pilots. So, Syria is hoping Turkey does not escalate it.

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 5 years ago from Olney

      Interesting stuff. So the Russians are getting a little belligerent. Could be dangerous.