Syraq SITREP 35: Israel Admits F16 Shot Down by Syrian Air Defense

Syraq SITREP 35: Israel Admits F16 Shot Down by Syrian Air Defense

The Israeli Air Force announced shortly after dawn Saturday morning that one of its American made F16 fighter jets was hit by a Syrian surface to air missile, crashing after both pilots ejected over northern Israel's Jezreel Valley. According to the IAF spokesman the Lockheed Martin fighter jet was struck by a SAM as it was carrying out an air strike against alleged Iranian targets in southern Syria. The purpose of the raid according to IAF Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus was a response to an Iranian made drone being sent into Israeli air space. 

The Syrian military command claimed to have struck not one but two IAF jets with SAMs, taking down one and damaging another in response to Israel's 'aggression'. Whether or not Russia had a role in recently updating the older Soviet shipped S200 long range SAMs or if it was a newer, post-2011 shipped SA11 'BUK' which hit two IAF jets was not immediately clear Saturday. IAF technicians will likely know within hours if not days if the shrapnel that took down the F16 which crashed in northern Israel came from a Soviet/Russian designed SAM or an Iranian Shahren SAM.

What is clear is that several years of the Israelis being able to strike Syria with impunity while violating Lebanese air space to do so may be coming to an end. And the repercussions not only apply to Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, but also to Washington, which this week bombed pro-government Syrian tribesmen in Deir Ez Zor province. If Damascus can take down an upgraded IAF F-16, then some of the US Air Force's F15E Strike Eagles of the type that carried out the 'defensive' Coalition strikes on Wednesday could also get shot down in the nearest future.

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Syraq SITREP 33: Russian SU25 Pilot Shot Down and Killed, Turks Take Casualties

Syraq SITREP 33: Russian SU25 Pilot Shot Down and Killed, Turks Take Casualties

A SU25 ground attack jet of the Russian Air Force was shot down near Saraqeb, Idlib province on Saturday, February 3. According to Russian Defense Ministry sources the ejecting pilot, Major Roman Filippov of Crimea, was killed by jihadists after he parachuted and tried to evade. The Al-Qaeda franchise Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) took credit for the shoot down, but the first group to post apparently authentic video of a SU25 getting hit by a man portable anti-aircraft missile (MANPAD) is Jaysh al-Nasr, aka the jihadist wing of the so-called 'Free Syrian Army' 'moderate rebels'. This led Russian Duma members and experts to point out that, in the most recent U.S. Defense Authorization Act, Congress officially permitted the supply of MANPADs to 'vetted' Syrian rebel groups. But in response to a question from TASS, a Pentagon spokesman denied that any MANPADs have been supplied to Syrian rebel groups

However, Syria watchers took note on January 31 when the so-called 'National Army', remnants of the FSA and various jihadi groups now fighting under the Turkish Army's banners in Afrin, posed with a Soviet designed MANPAD system they allegedly captured from the Kurds. In retrospect the prominence of the MANPAD posing on social media by the Turkish proxies could have been staging for a planned shoot down near the Saraqeb front, where Russian airpower has been supporting the Syrian Arab Army. The apparent propaganda motive being, with hardcore neocon 'journalists' like #JihadiJulian Roepcke of Bild and Michael D. Weiss of CNN chiming in on Twitter, to claim that Turks and Russians are killing each other via proxies in northern Syria. Yet there is little evidence to support the claim that Moscow is currently supplying anti-tank missiles to the Afrin Kurds, of the type that just killed several Turkish servicemen in their armored vehicle this weekend. Instead it appears that someone is trying to set the mistrustful frenemies up for a clash, which many pro-Damascus Syrians regard as inevitable, once the Turks are finished fighing the Kurds and the SAA liberates the jihadist-dominated Idlib province.

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Ukrainian Rockets' (North Korean) Red Glare

Ukrainian Rockets' (North Korean) Red Glare

Hours after we published a RogueMoney article on the U.S./NATO buildup against Russia in and around Ukraine, The New York Times reported that the Ukrainian rocket engines firm Yuzhmash illicitly shipped powerful boosters to North Korea. These engines originally designed in the Soviet Union for ICBMs like the SS-18 'Satan' are said to account for North Korea's major leap in missile range achieved in recent tests. Yuzhmash is of course, like many other Soviet legacy Ukrainian industries, facing ruin due to the cutoff of trade with Russia since 2014.

With the recently passed UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions supported by Russia and China potentially opening the door to sanctioning any nation that proliferates nuclear or missile technology to Pyongyang, not suprisingly Yuzhmash and the U.S.-backed Kiev government are denying everything. But the story is coming at a difficult time for Kiev, as a growing number of Americans ask why neo-Nazi and torchlight marches chanting 'blood and soil' are unacceptable in Charlottesville, Virginia but sponsored by the American taxpayer and Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain via funding for the Ukrainian National Guard's SS rune flag waving Azov Battalion... 

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