SU-24 incident Breakdown


New member
Jan 24, 2018
This is a little think piece I made a while ago about the 2015 Russian Sukhoi Su-24 shootdown. Just asking and answering some questions I had about the story as it unfolded. The information is taken from a Guardian article about the incident, though the paper isn't really important to the piece.

Why was it shot down?

In a letter to the UN Security Council, Turkey's permanent representative Halit Cevik wrote that two aircraft of unknown nationality had approached Turkish airspace near the town of Yayladagi in Hatay province.
^As if we are supposed to believe that Turkey didn't know they were Russian and fired on them anyway. The planes could only have belonged to the Russian or Syrian air force and the Turkish clearly knew this. It only took them 17 seconds to shoot it down, the call to do so must have been made well in advance of the intrusion, especially when you take into account that these aircraft move at a top speed of 1,315 km/h.^

The planes were warned 10 times over the space of five minutes via an "emergency" channel and asked to change direction, he added.
Both planes disregarded the warnings and then flew 2.19km (1.36 miles) and 1.85km (1.15 miles) into Turkey for 17 seconds from 09:24:05 (07:24:05 GMT), according to Mr Cevik.

^1.36 miles sounds quite damming until you look at the flight path map.^
SU24 Flight Path.jpg

"Following the violation, plane 1 left Turkish national airspace. Plane 2 was fired at while in Turkish national airspace by Turkish F-16s performing air combat patrolling in the area. Plane 2 crashed on to the Syria side of the Turkish-Syrian border."
^The Turkish must have known the patrol paths of these planes way in advance.
The Turkish military also published what it said was the radar image of the path the Russian plane took, showing it briefly flying across Turkey's southern-most tip.

But Mr Putin said the Su-24 was over Syrian territory, 1km (0.6 miles) from Syria's border with Turkey, when it was hit. It crashed 4km from the border, he added.
^This is true because of the rocket travel time and the fact that the plane traveled some distance after it was hit, though the article makes it out like Putin is lying.^

The Russian defence ministry insisted that the aircraft remained within Syria's borders throughout its mission, did not violate Turkish airspace and received no warnings.
It published a video showing what it said was the Su-24's flight path.
The pilot who survived the crash, Capt Konstantin Murakhtin, told Russian television he had not received a warning before being shot down.

^I'm willing the believe Russia over Turkey any day and neither side have produced any evidence to support these claims.^

Later, Mr Putin said that the US military, "which leads the coalition that Turkey belongs to, knew about the location and time of our planes' flights, and we were hit exactly there and at that time".
^Another reason why this was definitely planned well ahead of time. The Turks wouldn't have shot down a plane in their territory for 17 seconds if they knew for certain that it wasn't America. That would have caused a shitstorm.

The US state department denied that, insisting that Russia had not notified the US in advance about the flight.
^Then how did Turkey know?!

US military officials said there were indications the downed plane entered Turkish airspace for a matter of seconds, and that it had been warned to stay out.
More details were given on 27 November by Russian air force commander Gen Viktor Bondarev. He said Russian and Syrian radar data pointed towards an "ambush" by the two Turkish F-16s.
The F-16s spent one hour and 15 minutes flying in the area where the incident happened, he said, and the one that fired the missile penetrated 2km inside Syria, spending 40 seconds in Syrian airspace.

^Turkey is an uninvited military invader of Syria. The legitimate Syrian government does not want them in the country, however this is justified as acceptable because.... I don't know.^

The timings showed that they could not have taken off from their Diyarbakir airbase for the interception - they were poised to attack, he said.
The two Su-24s had just bombed two groups of rebels and one was shot down just after completing another bombing run, 5.5km south of Turkey, he said.