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February 12, 2016 / 3 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Turkey Backpedals as Tensions Rise With Moscow, Says ‘Didn’t Know Downed Plane Was Russian’

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Turkey is starting to dial down its defensive stance in the face of Russian rage over the death of one of its pilots, and says it is ready for “all kinds of cooperation” with Moscow officials after shooting down a Russian Sukhoi-24M fighter jet on Tuesday over what it said was Turkish airspace.

At the time, Turkish military officials said its air force radar controllers repeatedly warned the jet it was violating its airspace and to redirect its flight path, but received no response. On Wednesday, Turkey released a recording of those warnings; a second clip was also published by media that was picked up from an entirely independent source as well.

“The nationality of the plane was not known…and the rules of engagement were automatically used,” the Turkish military said in a statement released early Thursday. Russian defense and military attaches were invited to Ankara headquarters for an explanation of the incident, Turkish officials added.

Moreover, Turkish military leaders said their troops had set out on a search and rescue mission to try and find the pilots after the Sukhoi-24M was shot down.

However, Russia has escalated the issue, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claiming on Russian TV on Wednesday that Moscow had “serious doubts” the incident was “an unpremeditated act. It looks very much like a planned provocation,” he said.

The Russian defense ministry announced late Wednesday it would deploy S-400 anti-aircraft missiles in Syria at its Hmeymim air base near Latakia, less than 30 miles from the Turkish border. The missiles have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) according to the Missile Threat website.

Turkey Releases Recording of Warning to Russian Fighter Jet

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The Turkish military has released to the public the recordings of the warnings that were broadcast to the Russian Sukhoi-24M warplane as it allegedly entered Turkey’s airspace on Tuesday, and before it was shot down.

Turkey says the same warning was broadcast every 30 seconds for five minutes before its F-16 fighter jet fired an air-to-air missile at the aircraft that was “violating its airspace,” for a total of 10 times.

Some aerospace analysts who have studied the radar map showing the “violation” say the Russian warplane could not have spent more than 17 seconds over Turkish territory.

Radar tracker visual of the flight path of the Russian Su-24M fighter jet shot down by the Turkish F-16 on Nov. 24, 2015.

Radar tracker visual of the flight path of the Russian Su-24M fighter jet shot down by the Turkish F-16 on Nov. 24, 2015.

The warnings — which rescued Russian navigator pilot Captain Konstantin Murakhtin denies ever having heard — were recorded by at least two separate sources.

A civilian pilot from Lebanon now has told Al-Arabyia that he also heard the repeated warnings — and not for the first time — being broadcast to “unknown aircraft” by a Turkish Air Force radar station. Each time, he said, the warnings were “met with silence” as they were from the Russian fighter jet “this time as well.” In fact, he said he has heard those warnings at least two or three times a week as he flies a plane for Middle East Airlines, Lebanon’s national carrier, although there is no way to confirm it.

On Tuesday, he heard the warnings again, but this time he said the air controller’s voice sounded much more tense and even urgent. Because of that, the Lebanese pilot recorded a 17-second clip of the warning with his smartphone, which was then passed on to Al-Arabiya.

According to The Telegraph and The Independent, the voice on the recording is heard saying in English:

“Unknown air traffic position onto Humeymim 020, redirect to 26 miles. This is Turkish Air Force speaking – en guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace. Change your heading south immediately.”

Turkey released that recording to prove those warnings from the Turkish Air Force radar station to the Russian warplane were, in fact, issued not once, but numerous times and to refute claims by the Russian Defense Ministry that no warnings were issued.

In addition to the recording from the Lebanese pilot, another clip was recorded on the international UHF emergency frequency 243.000 MHz by a reader of The Aviationist who “wishes to remain anonymous.”

According to this report as well, The Aviationist points out “we must highlight that similar messages have been radioed to unknown/Russian aircraft in the vicinity of the Turkish airspace in the past as well and recorded/heard by radio-hams and airband listeners located in Turkey and Greece.”

If such is the case, then in fact Turkey did indeed broadcast numerous messages to the Russian pilots; but the warnings did not come from the Turkish F-16 fighter jet which shot down the Su-24M. The pilots of the Turkish F-16 never contacted the pilots of the Russian Su-24M at all.

It is entirely possible that in the land of “diplospeak” this discrepancy point the way out of what might otherwise be the start of a nasty new conflict that could be fanned by interested parties into a third world war. Let’s hope so. It’s the first Russian warplane to be shot down by a NATO member since the end of World War II.

Rescued Russian Pilot Denies Turkish Contacts, Leaving Syria — But Turkey Releases Recording of Warnings

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The pilot navigator of the Russian Sukhoi-24 fighter jet that was shot down by a Turkish F-16 says his aircraft never violated Turkey’s airspace and insists he was never contacted by Turkish air traffic control, either.

But Ankara released recordings to the media on Wednesday of the warnings that were repeated over and over, ordering the pilot to redirect his aircraft.

When he was rescued, Captain Konstantin Murakhtin vehemently denied ever leaving Syrian airspace.

“No, this is out of the question even for a one-second possibility, as we were at the altitude of 6,000 meters and the weather was clear,” he told the Rossiya-1 TV Channel in Russia. “All our mission flight was in my personal full control until the explosion of the missile.

“There was not even a slightest threat of getting into Turkey,” he said. “In fact, there were no warnings either via radio communication or optically. There were no contacts at all. That’s why we flew heading combat course as per normal,” he added, the TASS news agency reported.

“If they wanted to warn us they could have come out by flying on parallel courses. But this did not happen. And the missile came to our jet tail all of a sudden… We didn’t even see it to have time for missile evasive maneuver.”

Murakhtin told the interviewer he intends to ask permission to stay at his current base in Syria when he is discharged from the hospital. “I’ll ask the commanders for permission to stay on this airbase,” he said. “I have a debt to pay off on the part of my commander (the pilot who was shot dead by the Turkmen fighters on the ground as he parachuted from the burning warplane – ed.).”

A team of 18 Syrian special ops personnel carried out the 12-hour mission together with six members of an elite Hezbollah guerrilla unit to rescue the Russian airman, who was tracked to his hiding place via a radio signal. The body of the dead pilot, Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov, was not recovered. A rescue helicopter sent to search for the two pilots was also shot down, this time by Syrian rebel fire, and forced to make an emergency landing. A Russian Marine on board the helicopter, Alexander Pozynich, was also killed.

Turkey insisted it shot down the Russian jet because the aircraft had violated its airspace and its pilots did not respond to repeated warnings from military personnel. The Russian defense ministry claimed the Su-24 never left Syrian airspace.

But a civilian pilot from Lebanon now says he also heard the repeated warnings — and not for the first time this month, either. In fact, he said he has heard those warnings at least two or three times a week as he flies a plane for Middle East Airlines, Lebanon’s national carrier, although there is no way to confirm that claim.

On Tuesday, he heard the warnings again, but this time he said the air traffic controller’s voice sounded much more tense and even urgent. Because of that, the Lebanese pilot recorded a 17-second clip of the warnings with his smartphone, which was then passed on to Al-Arabiya.

 

 

Turkey has released that recording to prove those warnings from the Turkish Air Force radar station to the Russian warplane were, in fact, issued not once, but numerous times.

Britain Warns Turkish Airspace Incident ‘Very Serious’ as Russian Pilot Killed

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

The British Foreign Office warned Monday that the downing of a Russian warplane by the Turkish Air Force was a “very serious incident,” one that bears further investigation.

“We are seeking further details urgently,” the Foreign Office said Tuesday in a statement.

“Clearly this is a very serious incident but it would be unwise to comment further until we have more certainty on the facts,” the statement continued.

There is clearly a rising concern over increased tensions between Russia and the West as both confront the need to battle the spreading threat of global jihad.

European Union president Donald Tusk called for calm, noting that Turkey, a candidate for membership in the EU, is due to host a summit with the international body in Brussels on Sunday. “In this dangerous moment after downing of Russian let, all should remain cool headed and calm,” Tusk tweeted on the Twitter social networking site.

But Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov abruptly canceled his planned visit to Ankara for meetings with Turkish officials on Wednesday, and Moscow has posted a travel alert against the country.

According to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace. “Everyone must know that it is our international right and national duty to take any measure against whoever violates our air or land borders,” Davutoglu said in Ankara, according to AFP.

Russia insists –and said it could prove — the Sukhoi-24 jet had not left Syria air space, although an image of radar tracking of the flight path of the SU-24 seems to indicate otherwise.

“This goes beyond the normal struggle against terrorism,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement before a meeting in Sochi, Russia with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. “This was a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists.

“Our pilots and our plane did not in any way threaten Turkey. It is quite clear. They were carrying out an operation against Da’esh (ISIS) in the mountains of northern Latakia, where [terrorists] who originate from Russian territory are concentrated. So they were carrying out the key task of preventive attacks against those who could return to Russia at any time.”

Putin is also infuriated by the fact that the two pilots ejected before the jet crashed in Latakia province, but one died because Turkmen rebels in Syria killed him. The rebels admitted as much to reporters, according to Reuters.

NATO is set to convene an emergency meeting of ambassadors in Brussels at 4 pm GMT; the military alliance to which Turkey belongs said it was “closely” following developments in the situation, and remains in contact with the parties.

This is the first time Russia has lost a warplane since launching air strikes in Syria in defense of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Reports: As Civil War Intensifies Syrian Body Parts Become Country’s Chief Export

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

(JNi.media) Recently, many Druze from the northern Golan heights who need organ transplants and have been waiting a long time on the Israeli national waiting list, have gone to civil war-torn Syria for the parts they need in order to stay alive, Walla reported. Lebanese and Syrian media have published several stories describing the thriving black market trade in human organs. Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which is close to the Assad regime, last January quoted the head of Medicine at Damascus University, Dr. Hussein Nofal, who claimed there have been thousands of cases of cornea sales in Syria.

Dr. Nofal added there are gangs working with Syrian doctors who sell cornea at $7,500 per, mostly abroad, falsifying their country of origin. He claimed that organ theft is prevalent in border areas outside the control of the Assad regime and inside the Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and Lebanon.

Another source told As-Safir that the Islamist militias fighting in Syria have been working with organized crime, selling them the organs of people killed in the fighting. The source related that hospitals in areas controlled by the rebels in Aleppo are plagued by thieves who claim the bodies of their “loved ones” only to harvest them and then bury them in mass graves. The source knew of about 5,000 organ stealing gangs, and suggested Turkish hospitals have become “export centers for Syrian body parts.”

For its part, the Syrian opposition is claiming that Syria’s organ trafficking network is operated by Assad army officers. According to reports in the opposition websites, the organ trafficking industry is thriving in direct ratio to the increased fighting in Syria in the past four years, as organs are harvested from thousands of Syrians the regime “erases” systematically.

The most desirable organs are the heart, eyes, kidneys, vertebrae, cartilage, joints and muscle tissue, which are flown to Russia for sale in Iran and India through the Russian mafia. The price of a smuggled heart is estimated at $20,000, an eye for $25,000, Kidney – $15,000 and most other organs for $10,000. The final price of an organ is determined by the age of the person from whom it was harvested.

A social activist from Majdal Shams, a Druze town in the southern foothills of Mt. Hermon, north of the Golan Heights, told Walla that the war has done a lot to bring down the cost of body parts in the region. “Before the war, a kidney sold for around 30 to 50 thousand dollars, and today, because of the large supply, a kidney already costs $15 thousand.”

At the same time, according to the Druze community sources, the risk of the trip to buy that kidney has also increased sharply, and not everyone who travels north for a bargain on a body part comes back.

Shin Bet Busts ISIS-Israeli Arab Cell

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and police revealed Wednesday they have arrested six Arabs with Israeli citizenship who plotted to join the Islamic State (ISIS).

The cell includes the paraglider who flew from the Golan Heights and into Syria last month. All of the members of the cell are from Jaljulia, a city immediately east of Kfar Saba in northern metropolitan Tel Aviv.

The paraglider, 23-year-old Nedal Ahmed Salah, was helped by five others, including two brothers. One of them previously fought for ISIS and returned to Israel, where he was jailed, for several months.

The paragliding incident led to the exposure of the cell.

Salah and his brothers chose to reach Syria through the air because of tight security at Ben Gurion Airport and at the Golan Heights border. The other members of the cell planned to enter Syria via Turkey.

ISIS Video Promises Massacre in Washington DC

Monday, November 16th, 2015

ISIS (Da’esh) vowed in a new video released Monday to strike the United States in an attack on Washington DC similar to Friday’s massacre in Paris.

The video is entitled “And Fight All Polytheists,” and was released by a “Wilayat Kirkuk” (State of Kirkuk) ISIS cell featuring jihadists speaking in Arabic.

The translations below are provided courtesy of The Daily Mail.

“We say to the states that take part in the Crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington.”

The featured narrator, “Al Gharib the Algerian,” promised more attacks in Europe as well.

“I say to the European countries that we are coming, coming with booby traps and explosives, coming with explosive belts and [gun] silencers and you will be unable to stop us because today we are much stronger than before.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/isis-video-promises-massacre-in-washington/2015/11/16/

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