Putin Accuses Obama Of Leaking Flight Details To
Turkey After Russia
By Tyler Durden
November 27, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Zero
Hedge" - As reported two days ago, one of
the first decisions a very angry Russia took in the aftermath of the
shooting down of its Su-24 by a Turkish F-16 was to dispatch a
Moskva guided-missile cruiser off the coast of Syria to provide air
cover for its jets operating near Latakia, as well as send an
unknown number of
ultramodern S-400 (or SA-21 Growler in NATO designation) SAM
batteries to Latakia to make sure that the tragic incident from
Tuesday never repeats itself by sending Turkey a very clear message
that the next time a Turkish warplane engages a Russian jet, Russia
will immediate retaliate using ground forces.
Earlier today, Russia made a very explicit
demonstration of the deployment of at least two S-400 batteries at
Khmeimim airbase, with the Russian Ministry of Defense promptly
publicizing the arrival with the following clip.
With a range of 250 miles, the S-400 could easily
strike Turkish targets, and as the map below shows, Russia could
even take down targets over northern Israel. As cited by the
Independent, Nick de Larrinaga, Europe editor of the defense
magazine IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly, said it would be “a significant
increase” in the reach of Russian air-defense capacities. “The
message that the Russians are trying to send is that they’re capable
of defending themselves in Syria, should the situation escalate."
Needless to say, the US was not enthused and
earlier today the US embassy in Moscow said that the "Russian
deployment of the S-400 air-defense system to Syria won't aid the
fight against the Islamic State, with the US diplomat adding that
the US is hopeful Russia won’t use the system to target planes flown
by international coalition since Islamic State doesn’t have air
force." Clearly a warning to Putin not to dare use the rockets
against Turkish (or other coalition) jets.
So what is Putin's intention by escalating the
military deployment of Russian weapons in Syria? Conveniently he
explained his thinking just a few hours ago during his press
conference with Francois Hollande. In answering a question by a
reporter from French Le Monde, Putin said the following:
"The S-400 is an air defense system. The
reason we didn't have the system in Syria is because we thought
our planes were flying at high enough altitudes where a
terrorist could not reach them; they don't have weapons capable
of downing our planes at the altitude of over 3 or 4 thousand
meters. And We could never think that we could be stabbed in
the back by a country we regarded as our ally. Our planes
operated at altitudes of 5-6,000 meters and were completely
unprotected against potential attacks from fighter jets - we
could never imagine that that could be possible otherwise we
would deploy such systems in the area protecting our bombers
against possible attacks."
"We never did it because we regarded Turkey as
our friend, we never expected an attack from that side.
This is why we regard this attack as that of a traitor. But now
we that this is possible, and we have to protect our planes.
This is why we deployed a modern system, the S-400, it has a
pretty long range and it's one of the most effective systems of
this kind in the world. We will
not stop there: if we have to we will also deploy our fighter
jets in the area."
Bottom line: another direct engagement by a
Turkish fighter will be its last, and in fact now that Russia is
prepared we would not be at all surprised to see Russia cross into
Turkish airspace on purpose just to provoke Erdogan to repeat the
events from last week, only this time with the Russian ready and
prepared to retaliate to any engagement. In fact, the odds of Russia
doing just that in the next few days are especially high.
But while the reason behind the S-400 deployment
was largely known to most, where Putin's press conference took an
unexpected detour was what he said just around 20:30 in, when in not
so many words, Putin effectively accused the US of leaking the
coordinates of the Russian plane to Turkey, which was merely a
hitman acting with the blessing of the Pentagon.
This is what Putin said:
"We told our US partners in advance where,
when at what altitudes our pilots were going to operate.
The US-led coalition, which includes Turkey, was aware of the
time and place where our planes would operate. And this is
exactly where and when we were attacked. Why did we
share this information with the Americans? Either they don't
control their allies, or they just pass this information left
and right without realizing what the consequences of such
actions might be. We will have to have a serious talk with our
In other words, just like in the tragic bombing of
the Kunduz hospital by US forces (which has now been attributed to
human error), so this time the target was a Russian plane which the US knew about well in advance, was
targeted however not by the US itself, but by a NATO and US-alliance
And while the deployment of the Russian SAM
missiles was already known, the real message from today's presser,
the one that will be the topic of a private and "serious talk with
Russia's US partners", is that Putin indirectly blames Obama for
what happened on Tuesday realizing that Erdogan was merely the
"executor", one who is simply motivated to protect his (and
his son's) Islamic State oil routes.
Full press conference below;
the discussion of Russia's S-400 deployment begins 17:30 in:
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