Russia told Assad to shoot down Turkish plane, murder captured pilots
Devastating intelligence papers purport to prove jet was downed on Moscow’s orders, pilots captured alive by intelligence unit and then killed; Damascus had claimed June incident was an accident
Contrary to previous reports, the two pilots of a Turkish F-4 Phantom which was shot down by Syria in June were not killed in the crash, but were murdered by the Assad regime on Russian orders, according to a devastating series of alleged Syrian intelligence documents leaked to and published by Al-Arabiya on Saturday.
A file “sent from [President Bashar] Assad’s palace,” said the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya, conveys and thus apparently approves a Russian suggestion to “eliminate” the pilots in the “natural way.”
Syria had claimed that the plane was downed by accident, and at one point asserted that it had believed the plane was Israeli — hence the need to down it.
The leaked paperwork purports to show that the pilots were captured by Syrian Air Force Intelligence forces after their plane was shot down “in coordination with the Russian naval base in Tartus” on June 22, according to a document sent directly from Assad’s office to that of Syrian Special Operations Unit head Brig. Hassan Abdel Rahman.