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Vicky SD • 2 years ago

The amount of distrust that is inherent in a 1 minute warning, when you have a plane in the theater is all Russians need to know. A simple "apology not accepted" is what the Israelis need to hear, followed up by a declaration in conjunction with Syria that there will be a strict no-fly zone imposed on the area of Russian operations.

dougdiggler • 2 years ago

I get the distinct impression that that Il-20 was an airborne early warning system or sigint platform- a good way for the Is/FUKUS powers to take out Russia's eyes before a big offensive? Anyhow, sad to see that Turkey and Israel can kick Russia around, let alone the corrupt and incompetent NATO bullyboys. How can Russia retaliate? Is it stands, it seems clear that Israel was willing to gamble with the lives of the crews of the NATO ships offshore. I can only think that Israel got clearance on this from the highest levels- and just days after the IAF bombed Damascus International Airport during Syria's trade show!

O rly • 2 years ago

UK France and USA are all run by Zionist.

Adrestia • 2 years ago

There are more than 1 in Syria. Ususally 2 or 3. A replacement is probably en route from Star City.

David Habakkuk • 2 years ago

All, re the Joaquin Flores piece.

I would normally totally discount this as the wrong kind of ‘conspiracy theory’, and I think that is still very highly likely to be the most appropriate response. It would be surprising if the French were prepared to leave a ‘smoking gun’ on the deliberate shooting down of a Russian aircraft, and the explanation Flores gives of this does seem tortuous.

However, there do seem to be some puzzles about the French – and British – roles which need sorting out.

At the outset, the Russians were clearly pointing to the French.

What may have survived, when that story was replaced by the far more plausible one of a ‘friendly fire’ incident provoked by the Israelis, is the suggestion that the French frigate was firing missiles.

So in ‘Haaretz’ this morning, we found Anshel Pfeffer writing that ‘France denied any involvement in the downing of the Russian Ilyushin Il-20, but, interestingly, did not deny launching missiles.’

(See https://www.haaretz.com/mid... .)

Moreover, he goes on to write that:

‘Something was obviously going on Monday night. Not only Russian and (allegedly) Israeli and French aircraft and missiles were in the air. Civilian radar also tracked British Royal Air Force aircraft, which, unusually, had switched on their transponders and gone into holding patterns – most likely to avoid being somehow involved in the exchange of fire over Latakia. The Ilyushin Il-20 was not so fortunate.’

It would not seem inherently so terribly surprising if indeed the French vessel did fire missiles. However, I am curious as to what kinds of explanations of this seem most plausible.

Likewise, the RAF switching on transponders is not so very odd. However, it would seem to make the one minutes’s notice given to the Russians stand out even more than it did already.

Obviously, this could easily be explained by ‘cock-up’ – Israeli fighters seeking safety by hiding behind the Russian plane, and the ‘deconfliction’ not working according to plan.

It could also, however, be explained by conspiracy. And if there was an Israeli conspiracy, then questions might at least arise as to whether there was prior knowledge on the part of others, which raises the possibility of either tacit, or active, encouragement..

PRC90 • 2 years ago

The French 'firing missiles' could be explained by their possible use of hovering rocket or chaff dispensing rocket anti-missile countermeasures. I do not know what French vessels may be equipped with, but type examples are Nulka and SBROC.

Unless Joaquin Flores was flying around there hoovering up EW data then he can only write short paragraphs about possibilities.

FB • 2 years ago

There is a lot that doesn't make sense about the downing of this Russian spy plane...some have pointed to the presence of the French frigate and the fact that Russian sensors detected it firing missiles...the Israeli F16s as the author notes happened to be sailing missiles right over the Russians' heads in Latakia, which previously has not happened...the area being considered off-limits due to the Russian flag there...

All of this happens at precisely the moment in time when Putin and Erdogan produce a very significant agreement on Idlib, that de-militarized zone of 15 to 20 km along the entire periphery of Idlib...looking at a map that amounts to easily half the territory of the province...taking half of Idlib without firing a shot is actually a pretty big win...

One can see how various elements of the global borg would be quite unhappy about that...they had been using Erdog as a cat's paw on Idlib up to now, but he finally realized that he can't keep dancing on the head of a pin forever...he needs Russian gas, nuclear power and military hardware...and he needs Chinese investment and financial help...both China and Russia are 100 percent resolved that those thousands of Russian and Chinese headchoppers in Idlib have to go...

Otoh the US promises to Erdo about the Kurds and Manjib and that supposed 'road map' have turned into the predictable song and dance with zero promises actually delivered...

So we had on that night a well prepared plan involving the British and French, as well as the Israelis...that the whole thing was a setup is beyond doubt...

So what actually brought the Ilyushin down...?

The Syrian S200 doesn't sound very plausible at all...first is the fact that the missile would not lock onto a target squawking a friendly IFF code...that's a pretty big one right there...also the fact that the Russians have repeatedly announced that the Syrian and Russian air defenses are now fully integrated...that means that Russian officers are ultimately in charge of directing SAM fire...saying the Syrians shot down the plane is basically saying the Russians shot down their own plane...

Yes it could possibly happen, but it's not very likely...especially considering that the Russians would have been well aware of the entire airspace well off the coast of Syria with both their ground radar coverage and their airborne early warning from the two Be50s that are reportedly operating in Syria...as well as satellite sensors to pick up infrared signatures of missile launches etc...

There is also the fact the Israeli's claim the four F16s that were supposedly targeted by Syrian S200 were in fact well out of the area by that time and in fact back inside Israeli airspace...the Russians would be completely aware of the flight path of those Israeli aircraft, so how could the Israelis hope to bluff with this excuse if it wasn't true...?

The map presentation by the Russian MoD did not in fact say that the launch of the S200 was synchronized with the Israeli planes being near the Ilyushin at that moment, it presented just the overall flight path of those F16...a telling detail...

It is indeed very possible that the Ilyushin was brought down by a French SAM from the Auvergne frigate that was detected firing missiles...or even an air to air missile launched by one the British planes in the air at that time...flying out of the British Akrotiri base on Cyprus...

Why should this be so outlandish...the anti-Russia conglomerate has been openly provoking Russia in Syria since day one...the Turks brought down the Russian ground attack jet in in 2015, in what was clearly a preplanned ambush...the Syrian ground pounder that was brought down last year in Deir Ezzor by a pair of carrier launched USN FA18s was clearly a preplanned ambush also...

So there is ample precedent for such a bit of provocation on the part of NATO...

The Russians could well be choosing to keep this information under wraps, since it would only be to their disadvantage to make it known...better to write it off as a 'tragic mishap' than to openly blame NATO, which would immediately inflame a very large crisis, with large potential to escalate...and would exactly play into the hands of those who are trying to provoke a conflict that might somehow forestall the final liberation of Idlib...which the DMZ actually goes a long way toward achieving...

smoothieX12 . • 2 years ago

The Syrian S200 doesn't sound very plausible at all...first is the fact
that the missile would not lock onto a target squawking a friendly IFF
code...that's a pretty big one right there..

Export variants of S-200 missiles never were supplied with IFF (if any at all) compatible with Soviet/Russian systems. I guess former Deputy Chief of Main Staff of Russian Air Force Lt. General Ionov knows a thing or two about it, when made his statement yesterday precisely on this issue.

Sun Tzu • 2 years ago

Even so, in the absence of Russian FF ID, RF staff embedded with the Syrian AD team would veto the firing of SAMs while their IL20 is illuminated in the radar screen wilthin range of the SA-5 missile.

FB • 2 years ago
'Export variants of S-200 missiles never were supplied with IFF (if any at all) compatible with Soviet/Russian systems...former Deputy Chief of Main Staff of Russian Air Force Lt. General Ionov...made his statement yesterday precisely on this issue...'

Do you have a link...?

Anyway, if you look at the graphic showing the respective flight paths of the Israeli and Russian aircraft...the Israeli story makes much more sense...

http://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfr...

Look at the point where the two paths nearly crossed...the Ilyushin flying west made a right turn north, while the Israelis, having already dropped their ordnance were heading east and made a right turn south...

The Ilyushin kept flying north for another 30 km before it was hit...by that time the Israelis would have been 50 km south of there...for a total separation of 80 km at the time of the hit...

That's assuming they both arrived at that 'near miss' point at the same time...but even if they did not, the Israeli planes' flight path is nowhere near the point where the Ilyushin is hit...30 km distance from the nearest point on the F16s' flight path...

Sorry but something stinks...I don't blame Putin for this though...blaming the French and British [and the Russians absolutely know exactly what happened] is not a good idea right now...the diplomatic brouhaha that would erupt in the security council would be deafening...as it is, everybody is being very 'respectful' about the Russian loss of life...

Putin is playing this very masterfully...there is a good take on this today by Tony Cartalucci...

smoothieX12 . • 2 years ago

Do you have a link...?

Of course I do have a link, I also have some very juicy updates from active senior officers of Russian VKS Main Staff and AD Regiment, fresh from Syria. Per specific Ionov's answers, here is his interview to Zvezda (in Russian).

https://zvezdaweekly.ru/new...

oldenyoung • 2 years ago

As i understood the translation...the s200 in Syria does have a rudimentary IFF...but once it is launched at Foe target, the missile cannot be retargeted...the IDF pilots scrambled behind the IL20 and it homed on biggest piece in target area...just like a decoy...The IDF pilots intentionally ran the missile into the Il20 to save their own asses...

regards

OY

smoothieX12 . • 2 years ago

No, IFF wasn't involved there in any way and as I stated in the beginning on the 17th, once Ionov's statement became available, it all came down to a classic, oldest trick in the book--masking by the use of much higher RCS target. That target happened to be IL-20.

FB • 2 years ago

Thanks for the article...so we can scratch the IFF...but it doesn't make the S200 story any more plausible...

In order for the Israeli airplanes to hide behind the Ilyushin, both flights would have to have been there at that 'near miss' turning point at the same time...that would be the only opportunity for 'shadowing'...

But after that turn to the north, the Ilyushin flew a good 30 km north [being conservative using distance scale from google maps, it could well be 40 km]...the airplane then made another right turn to head back east into what would be its final approach into Hmeimim...that second turn is also shown in the graphic...only after turning final is the airplane hit...

The Il20 has a cruise speed of ~600 km/hr, so that is 10 km/minute...it would have been at least a flight of three or four minutes to cover that 30 to 40 km...and it would have already been slowing down for its descent and landing approach...so it may have flown for 5 minutes after that close encounter with the Israelis...

Now the S200 is an 'oldie but goodie' as the General notes in the article...indeed this 8-ton monster flies at 2.5 km/s...faster than the S400...[it's really a great rocket, using a liquid fuel sustainer engine, unlike today's lower performing solid rocket motors, which are really just a big firecracker with a nozzle on the bottom, and don't have the performance of liquid engines]

Even launched from 100 km away...at that point of the close encounter where the F16s could have conceivably got close enough to shadow [doubtful]...it would have taken the rocket just 40 seconds to cover that 100 km and it would have hit the Ilyushin less than 10 km north of where it made that turn north there at the encounter...even fired from 200 or even 300 km [yes the S200 is one long legged beast] it would have hit the Ilyushin well before that turn to final...

Sorry but the story is obviously BS...there was no S200 launch or hit on that airplane...especially considering that Russian staff would have been ultimately in charge in this emergency situation, since that flight of F16s would have been picked up by Russian radar very early, possibly right from takeoff...

Also that Ilyushin is a highly sophisticated ISR aircraft for electronic intel gathering...Russian ground controllers would have been aware of every inch of its flight and so would everyone else...especially in an emergency situation...

The Ilyushin had just finished a mission over Idlib...and had probably picked up all kinds of interesting radio conversations [some in English or French perhaps]...

Something is being covered up and there is good reason to do so, in the bigger scheme of things...

Pave Way IV • 2 years ago

Israeli F-16s riding shotgun alongside JASSM-ERs flying a couple if meters above the sea. Masks or at least confuses radar picture. F-16s climb and release weapons. In the mean time, JASSMs continue on to targets: Il-22PP and some vulnerable S-400 component, frying both. Israel feigns ignorance, "We were just Holocaustin' the Iranians as usual. WE didn't shoot any Russian plane ( but we got plenty of interesting SIGINT when the Russians fired up their S-400. Thanks!)

FB • 2 years ago

What...?

How do you suppose a JASSM-ER...which is just an air-launched Tomahawk, using the same Williams turbofan engine, is going to hit an aircraft...[the Il22PP you mention]...?

It's not an air to air missile and flies subsonic...

It also cannot target 'some S400 component' since those components are all mobile..and change positions all the time...the JASSM is NOT as SEAD weapon...it's not capable of targeting any kind of mobile target...

Nothing you said here makes any sense...not to mention the Russian radar makes no mention of any such cruise missile flights...yet it was able to detect and identify the GBU39 glide bombs that the F16s dropped, which are much smaller and harder to detect because they are unpowered...

Pave Way IV • 2 years ago

CHAMP EMP directed energy / microwave pulse warhead on the JASSM - not HE. They're an area effect weapon, not kinetic. It only needs to fly somewhere 'Near' the target. Range is secret - maybe up to a km?

IAF F-16s bizarre approach was right on the deck, only occasionally visible to Russian radar. They would have had to well above 10,000 ft to give the GBU-39s enough altitude at release - and would have been quite visible on Russian radar. A JASSM skimming the sea in that blind area? Probably not.

All IAF attacks on Syria are ELINT/SEAD. Nearly all are conducted in coordination with, or direct participation of the US (because Cold War 2.0 and Zion uber alles)

FB • 2 years ago

You should think about laying off the mushrooms for a bit...CHAMP is still in experimental stage...and you can go as low to the deck as you like and Russian AWACS will still see you...so will even Russian Flankers on air patrol there...they have pretty big radars for a fighter...

There is no blind spot...Israeli papers have reported that Russian radar can see their planes as soon as they lift off the field...if you look at the topography of the Levant coast where those Russian S400s are some of those mountains go to 10,000 ft...those mobile radars are sitting on high ground and have a very long radar horizon out to sea...not to mention that the flight path of the F16s was fully tracked and shown on that video...

Russian AD is well aware of everything Israel is doing...but they have been giving them a wide berth...for political reasons having to do with Iran [which Russia is not overjoyed with in Syria either]...and wanting to keep the Israelis from meddling in the main job of wiping out the terrorists...

You're reading too many comics...

Pave Way IV • 2 years ago

When Raytheon bought Ktech, us TinFoilHat nutters knew that tech and those jobs were going straight to Israel. The only delay was miniaturizing the DEW warhead to 1000 lbs and powering it. The Israelis had to wait until we figured that out (JASSM-ER & warhead) before demanding that design from the traitorous Israeli boot-lickers at Raytheon. That was over two years ago.

Are you expecting to find details of this on Zionist-friendly Google? About the only thing you'll find there is the propaganda campaign at the end of last year dismissing CHAMP as a fantasy. That was in response to increasing evidence of its use during Israeli attacks on Syrian AD sites.

Didn't the odd detail about the Israeli target of a power plant make you the least bit curious about this op?

FB • 2 years ago

No it did not make me curious....because I know enough about physics and the challenges of carrying enough power on board a small flight vehicle that could actually do anything to physically harm electronic circuits...try looking up the inverse square law for starters...

Champ is just another MIC gimmick to enrich the pinstripe suit parasites...like so much else...

mingulay29 • 2 years ago

Joaquin Flores over at the fort russ website has come to exactly the same conclusion, namely that it was a missile fired from the French ship. His arguments as to why France in particular was chosen to do it are pretty convincing.

Pat Lang • 2 years ago

This man offers no proof at a all and so many of you are caught up in his fantasy. I am wasting my time trying to teach you to think.

mingulay29 • 2 years ago

Thinking is being receptive to ideas and examining them critically. In this case I reacted too quickly and on consideration I decided there is no way the French President would order the destruction of a Russian aircraft. In fact I wrote a piece on MOA earlier today countering Flores' arguments and regretted having written the above.

PRC90 • 2 years ago

Re the IFF and integration into any joint SAA/RuAF AD system; unfortunately electronic equipment breaks. In this case the IFF interrogation equipment could have failed, and the data link to the rest of the IADS could have failed leaving the SAM battery CP operating autonomously without real time deconfliction from the IL-20.

While the Syrian S-200 / SA5 systems have been refurbished and made serviceable by the Russians, the equipment is still decades old and I suggest it's not too reliable.

Pave Way IV • 2 years ago

IFF unnecessary in this case. Russian AIr Defence C&C would already have identified the Il-20 return on their radar network long before this event via transponder (squawk code). The Syrian S-200 would never have been allowed to operate in autonomous mode off the network by the Russians for obvious reasons. Among those: they don't care for a Syrian AD Commander starting WWIII for them. The S-200 commander would have been aware of the IL-20 ops in any case. That's his job. Network access or not, he would simply not have lit up a Gammon at the nearby IAF F-16s and NATO a/c, nor released the in-flight missile guidance to self-homing if he had any doubts about the target. These are not Fire-and-Forget - the commanders and operators are there for a reason. I'm with FB - something's fishy here.

FB • 2 years ago

Some interesting information just in...Russia has announced a temporary NO FLY ZONE in the entire Eastern Med...while their military conducts drills in international waters...

Here is the really interesting part...the no-fly zone exactly encircles the island nation of Cyprus...where the RAF base Akrotiri is located...and from where those British jets took off on the night of the Ilyushin incident...here is the map...a clue as to the real culprits...?

https://southfront.org/wp-c...

Eugene Owens • 2 years ago

FB -

The Russians have not shut down Akrotiri. The 'No Fly Zones' are the areas shown in red, items 14 thru 23.

The lines encircling Cyprus are:

Orange = Cyprus territorial waters,
Blue/Yellow = Cyprus EEZ
White = airspace controlled by the Cyprus Air Traffic Controllers

FB • 2 years ago

I never said they 'shut down' Akrotiri... nor does anyone other than the British have the authority to do that...

What they have done is completely ring Akrotiri with live fire exercises and the notams that go along with that...to ALL aircrew operating in the area, civil or military...

Akrotiri is number 5 there on the southwest tip of the island...it is completely ringed by the live fire zones...

I say it's a clue as to who the Russians are angry at...you can draw your own conclusions...

Eugene Owens • 2 years ago

FB -

Those NOTAMs were originally issued when the Naval Exercise was scheduled for early September. But it was delayed due to the Erdo/Putin Sochi conference. So they re-issued them under the new date.

Doesn't look to me like they "completely ring Akrotiri".

And the NOTAMs only cover from the surface to 19,000 feet. A U-2 has routinely been overflying those areas during the exercise.

Only eight of the ten are for aviators. The other two are warnings to shipping regarding surface operations.

FB • 2 years ago

Like I said..suit yourself...that notam was issued Sept 20...yesterday...two days after the Ilyushin downing...and runs to Sept 26...

I have no idea about any 'delayed' previously scheduled exercises...or where exactly they were supposed to be...what I do see is the timing of this..and also conspicuous is how the live fire zones exactly go to the boundaries of the Eurocontrol Cyprus Center boundary [white]...ie no other ATC center than Cyprus is involved...

Yes it's from SURFACE to 19,000 ft...so that is a big chunk of airspace that is now off limits...

Eugene Owens • 2 years ago

FB -

The NOTAMs were effective starting 00:01 Zulu Time 19 September. So they were issued well prior to that to give the ICAO and various country control centers time to react and warn aviators and mariners.

The live fire zones are also on the FIR/ATC boundaries of Israel and Lebanon, plus Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Egypt. You do not see those boundaries on the JPEG you posted because that pic was issued by the Cyprus Department of Civil Aviation, and they only show their own control lines.

Zero to 19K might be a lot of airspace, but the Tornados at Akrotiri have a flight ceiling of 50,000 feet. There is a lot of airspace between 19K and 50K.

FB • 2 years ago

Why would we need to see the boundaries of all those neighboring FIRs...?...the exercises are not taking place in any of them...I checked the Tel Aviv FIR and there are no notams...

As for how much advance notice it takes, anybody can file a notam...for instance skydiving activity and such...it just needs to be properly submitted according to the process in place...I would think 24 hours is plenty of time if it is properly done...

Of course Tornados can fly fairly high...but they still can't fly below FL190 in any of those areas for the time the notams are in effect...and that covers a lot of airspace off the coast of Syria...

PRC90 • 2 years ago

Yes, but we still get blue on blue's, and mistargeting even in training on air weapons ranges. Things go wrong even when people think that they are doing the correct course of action.

I covered the possibilities of how the S-200 could have been fired, but Eugene Owens (below) took it a bit further in considering the human factor failures, ie., it is very plausible that the battery commander had massive pressure or possibly specific orders to get a kill on a IAF aircraft stovepiped into his ear from up the chain regardless of formal integration into the joint(?) AD system.

If autonomous and with no IFF and no Mode C returns he would have only seen a primary return on descent into the Russian base. To extend the human factors failure further, consider that if someone wants to find a solution or a target hard enough they will eventually find one and this may well have been the final link in the chain with the IL-20.
I understand your point of view but given the choice of a f***up or a cover up I'll favour the former.

Interestingly the same human factors failure may have been involved in the USS Stark attack that Col Lang investigated.

FB • 2 years ago

Yes human error does occur...typically in a complex battle environment...not with just one VERY valuable asset, an ELINT plane in the air and coming in from an important mission...and a grand total of four little F16s...

In any case, human error does not explain that graphic and the distances...how could the Ilyushin have flown for FIVE MINUTES and 30 to 40 km after that close encounter with the Israelis...the S200 round would have been there in seconds...

The S200 is a lock-on before launch [LOBL]...the rocket doesn't fire until the radar lock...the engagement radar on the ground paints the target and the rocket has just a receiver that gets the signals that bounce back...

https://upload.wikimedia.or...

So if there was that radar masking, it could only happen at that one point where the flight paths are close...[at least in the horizontal plane, we know nothing about respective altitudes]

But then the Ilyushin keeps flying for another five minutes after that...S200 will cover 300 km in 2 minutes flat...300 km divided by its flight speed of 2.5 km/s = 120 seconds...

That's if fired from 300 km...what distance was the S200 round fired from...50 km...100 km...it would be there in 20 to 40 seconds...the Ilyushin could get maybe 5 km away in that time, not 30 or 40...

And now the Russians have a no-fly zone around Cyprus...coincidence...?

My money is on the British and an air to air shot...Russia knows it, and all the other players know it...surely the French and maybe the Israelis were all in on it...

This is the best course of action for Russia...Israel takes the public blame and has to cool its jets with the attacks on Syria...and now the Russians are holding live fire drills around Cyprus...just daring the Brits to do something...there may be some kind of 'accident' when the time is right...

PRC90 • 2 years ago

Human error can occur in the very simplest of things. A friend of mine died in a standard weapons retention exercise involving two men, one pistol, and one 9mm round that made it through the tried and true safety net in the most incomprehensible way. I have also stood next to the splash mark on the ground made by one proximity fused GBU-38 dropped the day before by one FA18, about 8 meters from the side door of an air weapons range control tower, without anyone getting a scratch. And none of it was done under any pressure or adversity.

Have a look at the 'Reason' model of accident theory, named after it's author - when a series of circumstances line up, the error gets through, and I think this event would be a case study example were it not for the fact that most of the details will never be revealed. Certainly training and design build in structural defences against error, and push the percentage back from 10% to 1% to 0.1% to.. but some percentage and it's consequence are always there to inspire some philosophical discussion about luck, but that's another matter.

I don't think we can rely on the graphic as it does not show the chronology, and as no one was using Mode C there are no tracks on Flightradar24, so I think that all we can do is work with the simple facts available. It's easy to read a lot of things into what we know, but the truth is that we don't know a great deal out of the entire set of facts that would have been produced by all the people and equipment in the area during that twenty minute(?) interval.

Further, as conjecture on my part, I do not think this was an air to air shot. Why ? It would be bad practise to let a clay pigeon ELINT collector fly around unprotected with all of the various protagonists lining up at the counter - I suspect that there was an obvious Su CAP over the top, especially once the IAF takeoff's where observed.

I'm holding with the opinion that this was sad f***up by a SAA SAM site, probably as a consequence of being forced autonomous by some equipment failure or electronic warfare SEAD.

Eugene Owens • 2 years ago

PRC90 -

The likelihood of Israeli EW affecting those S200 systems is extremely high IMHO. Over ten years ago they sky-hacked Syrian systems when they destroyed the al-Kibar nuclear facility not far from Deir ez-Zor. General Norkin, current IAF Commander, was probably part of that as he led the Negev Squadron during that time frame.

We don't know how they did the hack. There has been speculation in the press that they had a 'false-sky' EW program somehow inserted into Syrian AD radars. Or it also speculated to have been a hack of datalinks, or even a built-in 'kill-switch'.

I am dubious about the 'false-sky' insert and the built in 'kill-switch'. Those stories may even have been spread by the Israelis themselves. But both then and now they certainly have done some major EW spoofing and phreaking of Syrian AD systems in order to facilitate all the many airstrikes they have done there.

FB • 2 years ago

I agree there would have to have been a pair of Flankers in the air at the time of the Ilyushin flight...but again, we don't know that...

Something was going on with that Ilyushin too...that's a very sophisticated ISR aircraft in its latest IL22PP iteration...which we assume would be getting a workout in Syria as with all the latest Russian gear...

I say something was going on because there was no need for that Ilyushin to fly outbound off the coast of Syria by 30 to 40 km...he could've just come straight into Hmeimim after completing the circuit over Idlib...so that run over the Med was likely aimed at picking up Nato activity...

I also agree we don't have much info...but the info that has been presented by the Russian MoD makes an S200 shot and the F16 masking impossible...you have to admit that much...

Whatever did happen, it did not go down as presented...that much is for sure...

PRC90 • 2 years ago

I'd suggest his overwater descent track was down a published lane was to keep him away from land as much as possible while below the 12,000'(?) MANPAD limit. Hmeimim is 3Km from the beach, and his track was probably the standard way in/out of the base.

Bottom line is we don't know what happened other than a SAA SAM hit the IL-20, although I suggest a few Russians, Syrians and Israelis will be blaming themselves or those up the chain.

FB • 2 years ago

Yup..I agree with those points, and they add and reinforce the points I made about the flight paths and timing...

Just another point about the flight paths...they provide no ALTITUDE information...airplanes move in three dimensions, not two like cars...and we have here that flight path graphic that gives only two dimensional information, like a road map...

That point where the flight of F16s came closest to the Ilyushin is the only possible point where radar masking could have occurred...but without altitude information, those two flights could have been separated VERTICALLY by several km...making radar masking impossible even there...

The Russian radars are fully 3D, so they have full altitude information on the F16s and of course the Ilyushin...[even civilian ATC radar is 3D]...

They DID NOT give any altitude information...why not...?

It is reasonable to assume that the F16s would have been flying low and in fact Russian media reports initially said they were flying low...

But the Ilyushin was quite high...he was at 5,000 m when hit, where he was already on his final approach course...so he would have already descended maybe two or three km from that point where the 'close encounter' occurred...[the Il20 cruise altitude is 8,000 m]

There is no chance those F16s would have been flying that high, so close to Syrian airspace...[they did not actually enter Syrian airspace, as per usual MO, but launched standoff]...

Back in January that S200 took out an F16 that was flying high, but it was in Israeli airspace far from Syrian SAMs, so they felt safe there...they would not be flying high on a strike mission just off the heavily guarded coast of Latakia...

And let's go a little deeper into the timing...the downing of the Ilyushin is given as precisely 22:07 on the infographic...yet the F16 flightpath is marked only as a RANGE 22:00 to 22:10...

That's ridiculous...the Russian radar would have a precise timestamp on every inch of that flight path...as does ATC radar...

You can't just say well there's a TEN MINUTE BLOCK when those airplane flew through this path...and oh btw we have no idea of their altitude...

Sorry but that infographic is designed to do only one thing...to highlight the fact that at one point, those two flight paths came pretty close to each other...at least in the horizontal plane...

But we have zero timing information that says the two respective flights were at that 'close encounter' point AT THE SAME TIME...

All we see are the flight paths..and without timestamps on the F16 flight we can place those airplane anywhere on their flight path at any given time within TEN MINUTES...

This information proves exactly ZERO about those F16s supposedly radar masking that Ilyushin...and like I already explained...even if we take a leap of faith and assume that those F16s and that Ilyushin were at that close encounter point at the exact same moment in time...AND at the exact same altitude...it still is impossible because of the speed of the S200...which would have got there in less than a minute not five minutes later, after the Ilyushin flew for another 30 to 40 km...

The story does not add up...

Israel here is getting the goat horns because they were doing something they weren't supposed to be doing...it's like the kid who is told not to run in the house...and then when he runs in the house and a vase falls down and breaks, he gets the blame, even though it was the cat that knocked down the vase...

It's possible Israel wasn't in on the plot...or maybe there wasn't even a plot as such...but somebody on that French frigate or a crew member in one of those British warplanes took a shot at the Ilyushin...possibly because they spotted it, reported it...and the order came back to take it down...what with the anger over the Sochi agreement on Idlib...

There are many possibilities and it is pointless to try to speculate what actually did happen...but one thing we can logically see is that the S200 story does not add up...

John Gilberts • 2 years ago

In reporting the shoot-down of the Russian IL-20, Harretz reported that "Not only Russian and (allegedly) Israeli and French aircraft and missiles were in the air. Civilian radar also tracked British Royal Air Force aircraft, which, unusually, had switched on their transponders and gone into holding patterns." If true, this strongly suggests a set-up and with NATO involvement.

Vicky SD • 2 years ago

Exactly. It's obvious the Israelis intended for the French ship to be attacked, setting off god knows what chain of events.

Andy • 2 years ago

Israel is certainly responsible for precipitating the incident, but the accusations that Israel somehow purposely caused Syria to shoot down the airplane - as if the Syrians were helpless to prevent it - are without merit.

Some salient facts:

Syrian air defenses either knew the location of the Russian plane or they didn't.

- If they didn't know the plane was there, then that is a problem of coordination between Russian and Syrian military forces. Given that the Russian and Syrian AD networks are supposed to be integrated, I'd say this is the less likely option.

- If the Syrians did know the plane was there, then the Syrians are to blame for poor fire discipline and probably incompetence. Deliberately shooting at enemy aircraft when a friendly aircraft is in the line of fire is a big no no in air defense doctrine (and a big no no as a general rule for any use of force), especially with a weapon as unwieldy as an SA-5.

Additionally, the SA-5 is a passive homing missile that guides to the target based on reflections from a ground-based illumination radar. If the operators saw that the missile was tracking on the wrong target then they should turn off the the radar so the missile loses guidance and misses. If the IL-20 was in the same resolution cell as the F-16's then they should not have fired in the first place. This is especially the case with the SA-5, which was specifically designed to attack large, slow moving targets like the Il-20. The SA-5 has a very poor track record against tactical targets like fighters.

So one of two things must be the case: The Syrians didn't know the IL-20 was there or they knew it was there and fired anyway.

- Also, did the IL-20 have an IFF system active and could the Syrians interrogate it? Usually airspace is used to separate missile engagement zones from friendly aircraft operating areas to prevent fratricide, but IFF is a very important backup. It could be the IL-20 left its oparea and was returning to base and the Syrians weren't informed. It's cases like these where IFF becomes critical.

- What was the Syrian weapons engagement posture and where was engagement authority? They have an equivalent to what we use in the west
-- weapons hold - can only fire in self defense or when directed at a specific target
-- weapons tight - can only fire at targets positively ID'd as hostile
-- weapons free - can fire at any target not positively identified as friendly.

The US has had it's own share of similar incidents and exercises and testing showed the danger of fratricide absent adequate airspace control and fire discipline.

Fred • 2 years ago

Remind me, when did Syria give permision to the IDAF to fly missions inside Syria?

PRC90 • 2 years ago

Alternatively, why did Syria NOT declare an ADIZ with a top-shelf Russian hungry bear IADS ready to enforce it ?

Fred • 2 years ago

Why should any country on earth feel the need to do so?

PRC90 • 2 years ago

ADIZ's are everywhere, including around parts of the US. It's a statement of intent to defend airspace by requiring aircraft to identify themselves at a prescribed distance, and isn't a 'no-fly' zone so beloved by the media.

FB • 2 years ago

Syria NEVER gave any kind of permission to IDAF to fly inside Syrian airspace...and Israeli planes have not done so either...they have been launching missiles from outside Syrian airspace in all their attacks...I don't know of any cases where Israeli planes have entered Syrian airspace...

The concept of an ADIZ [air defense identification zone] does not legally exist in any treaty or international law...only about 20 countries have ADIZs...it is a legal gray area because a country's airspace legally extends only 12 miles beyond its border...

Anyone can legally enter anybody's ADIZ because they are OUTSIDE sovereign airspace and legally international airspace...the Russians do it all the time in Alaska with their heavy bomber flights...and the US also does it with the Chinese ADIZs around the disputed South China Sea islands...

PRC90 • 2 years ago

I think you have hit the nail with the last two words of your last paragraph.

fanto • 2 years ago

Andy, are you being paid for this voluminous, verbose, intentionally confusing piece?

Eugene Owens • 2 years ago

Fanto -

Seems to me that Andy's comment is one of the few sane comments here about the incident. The only people it confuses are those conspiracy crackpots who want to blame this on the French Navy.