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Open Thread – Russian Plane Brought Down in Syria

Stock image – Russian IL-20 surveillance plane.

Last night, a Russian IL-20 military surveillance plane went missing over Syria, presumably shot down. Fifteen Russian personnel are presumed dead. This took place during an (illegal) attack by Israeli F-16 jets. At the same time, RT reported that Russia had detected missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean.

This morning, Russia has formally complained to Israel – claiming the Israeli military gave less than 1 minute of warning, and then used the Russian plane as cover, causing the Syrian air defenses to bring down the friendly plane.

Speculation was rampant last night, with initial reports that Russia was blaming France for shooting down their plane. The story it was friendly fire from Syrian defenses originally came from the US, and was initially rejected, Sputnik calling it “fake news”. Although Russia has now officially “confirmed” that sequence of events.

Despite the Russian confirmation, some are saying that the now “official” course of events – that the Russian plane was brought down by friendly fire from Syrian ground defenses – is impossible because they unified their defenses. With many putting a different narrative together:

The questions raised:

  • Who really did shoot down this plane? Was it an accident or did France and/or Israel attack?
  • If France are attacking Russia/Syria what prompted this? What do they have to gain?
  • Is it possible for Syria to “accidentally” bring down an allied plane? Don’t they have IFFs?
  • Are Russia publicly accepting a false narrative to avoid having to retaliate?
  • Will Russia retaliate against Israel? They have claimed that right already.
  • What will they expect to extract as a quid pro quo on this issue?
  • How will the media report this? Will they call it a “near miss”? That’s surely what it was.
  • Do they even understand how close we’re coming to global war, whenever a NATO country operates in Syria?
  • How long can we rely on Russian common sense to avoid WWIII?