Perhaps many of you are aware that Syrian forces recently shot-down a Turkish Air Force F4 Phantom fighter. Leaving aside why on earth Turkey is flying a 60-yr-old fighter aircraft, and doing so at 200 feet altitude over a nation busily shooting all its citizens (subjects?), why would Turkey do that?
The 2012 Turkish AF is the third-largest in NATO, with an active strength of 60,000 personnel, and 232 F-16s. They have so many F-16s that they export them (Turkey builds F-16s under license) to Egypt. They also are a partner in the F-35 program, America’s newest fighter aircraft program, and have agreed to purchase 116 of them. Turkey also flies the F-5 (another Cold War relic exported by the US for decades), and several variants of the F-4, although one fewer than last week.
If you’re going to conduct armed reconnaissance over a war zone, wouldn’t you normally use your top-of-the-line aircraft rather than the oldest of your entire – large – fleet? And, if you ARE going to use your oldest jets, why are you going to fly them at 200′? (If Turkey can build and buy F16s and F35s, they can afford cameras good enough to grab whatever photos they want from higher altitudes…)
So, again, why did Turkey fly this Cold War relic jet over Syria and at only 200′, just begging to be shot-down by a Syrian military on high alert, indeed, actively engaged in hostilities?
Perhaps some derelict islamist (like there is any other kind…) recognized the NATO Article 5 requirement re: “…an armed attack against one or more [NATO members] shall be considered an attack against them all…,” wanted to embroil NATO in Syria to the detriment of NATO and, particularly the US and Britain, to reduce-to-zero whatever reputation the Anglosphere has remaining in muslim nations (probably working for Barack “I can be more flexible after my election” Obama, with a “reset” Russia on the side) to ensure Syria becomes a real mess – to the point of Obama requesting that Russia introduce forces (“…NATO remains bogged down in Afghanistan and great nations have a ‘responsibility to protect‘ so we’ve asked our Russian partners in the region…”) as an October surprise…. assuring a “more flexible” Obama is re-elected (America has never changed leaders during wartime), giving all of the ME to the islamists (as Obama already has lost Egypt to the islamists) with Russia as the sole superpower in the region…
… but perhaps I am just a conspiracy theorist….