Murphy's Law: Turks Say It Was A Missile


September 26, 2012: Turkey has concluded that the F-4 jet they lost near Syria last June 22nd was shot down by a Syrian missile that exploded near the aircraft. This conclusion was reached by recovering wreckage of the F-4 from the sea floor and examining the aircraft as well as its data recovered from the aircraft's electronics. This indicated that the missile warning alarm had gone off. The damage to the aircraft was from missile fragments, not a direct hit by the missile itself. The fragments did not do a lot of damage, but just enough for the F-4, which was travelling at high speed only 100 meters above the water, to veer downward, hit the water, and sink. The Turks noted that this took place in international airspace, not Syrian airspace, as the Syrians had always claimed. 

Syria initially claimed that they shot down a low flying Turkish F-4 reconnaissance aircraft while (according to Syria) it was flying 13 kilometers off the Syrian coast. Turkey always maintained that the F-4 was 23 kilometers off the coast (in international air space) when it was hit. The general location of wreckage was soon found a few kilometers from the Syrian coast, at a depth of 1,300 meters. Also found were the flight helmets and boots of the two crewmen but not the crewmen themselves. Specialized ships were brought in to precisely locate the wreckage and bodies of the pilot and weapons officer and bring it all to the surface. As expected, a close examination of the wreckage revealed what brought the aircraft down and where.




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