Thomas Wictor

Debunking an inexcusable clusterf*ck created by journalists

Debunking an inexcusable clusterf*ck created by journalists

I can tell you only one thing with certainty: Today the Turks shot down a Russian Sukoi Su-24 bomber. That is the only fact of which I’m positive, since both the Turks and Russians agree that it happened. Everything else—and I mean literally EVERYTHING—being reported is a lie. I should just shut up and get on with the debunking, but this is such a calamity that I’m now worried about the future of western civilization.

First, I can show you the video of the Su-24 going down. The Turks intercepted it with an F-16 Fighting Falcon.

An air-to-air missile was used to bring down the Russian bomber. A Turkish radar station issued a warning to the two Russian aircraft that they were about to enter Turkish airspace. Click the link to listen to the recording.

Both Turkey and the US say that the Turkish pilots warned the Russians ten times before firing the missile. I believe that’s true, because Russia has a decades-long history of violating other nations’ airspace. They send their strategic bombers into European and American airspace all the time. Here’s a US Navy F-14 escorting a Tu-95 away after the Russians casually flew up to say, “Screw you. We can do what we want!”

Well, many Turks are hyper-nationalistic and not entirely rational. Putin wanted to see how far he could push them. Now he knows.

This is the area where the Russian bomber was shot down (red arrow).

Turkey released a map that shows the Russian bomber (red line) violating Turkish airspace.

I think it’s clear that the Russians were playing a game of chicken, and they lost.

What I want to talk about is the utterly non-factual reporting about what happened after the Russian bomber was shot down. It appears that the two-man crew ejected.

Here’s what we’re being told.

First version.

Turkey’s private Dogan news agency is quoting a Turkmen commander as saying Turkey brought down the Russian plane after it had dropped a bomb in a Turkmen region of Syria and entered Turkish airspace.

The fighter, who was identified as Alpaslan Celik, the second-in-command of the Turkmen Coastal Division, said the Turkmen forces had re-captured a Turkmen mountain region from Syrian forces.

Celik also said the rebels shot and killed both Russian pilots who parachuted from the plane after it was shot down.

Second version.

The Russian plane was supporting Syrian troops which have been on the offensive in an area controlled by several insurgent groups including al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, and the 2nd Coastal Division and the 10th Coast Division that includes local Turkmen fighters.

Jahed Ahmad, a spokesman the 10th Coast Division, said its forces fired at the Russian pilots as they descended. One died, Ahmad told The Associated Press.

Third version.

Around a dozen Turkmen militias have formed, some directly supported by the Turkish government. It is one of these, Alwiya al-Ashar, that is reportedly holding one of Russia’s downed pilots.

Alwiya al-Ashar is linked to a Turkish and CIA-backed logistics supply programme that funnels a near-constant stream of small arms, ammunition, and cash for salaries to rebel groups across northern Syria.

Fourth version.

Accounts of whether both were hit and killed from the ground were disputed last night, with some Turkish authorities saying that both men were alive. That would certainly seem to be contradicted by the video of one of them, released by a Turkmen militia called Alwiya al-Ashar.

As armed men surround the body - clicking away with mobile phones, the leader says: “The 10th Division has captured a Russian pilot, God is greatest.” The chant of God is greatest - Allahu Akbar - is then repeated.

“They both arrived dead,” said Abu Haroun, a media officer for the group told The Telegraph.

So the press is quoting people from the Turkmen Coastal Division, the 10th Coast Division, and Alwiya al-Ashar—also called the 10th Division or 10th Brigade.

Debunking takes only seconds

None of those groups exist.

Check for yourself. Every Syrian opposition group is listed here. On July 20, 2015, Syrian Turkmen Assembly President Abdurrahman Mustafa announced that all Turkmen units in Syria would be united under the name Al-Sultan Murad Brigades (Liwa al-Sultan Murad). This is the Syrian Turkmen Army. Turkmen brigades no longer go by their old names.

Alwiya al-Ashar or the 10th Brigade has a tiny Twitter presence.

There’s nothing credible written about them. Nothing at all.

The video of the dead Russian pilot keeps being removed from YouTube, but I managed to get a screen shot that shows the logo of Alwiya al-Ashar.

Do you know what this fake group did? It slapped its logo over that of the real rebels at the scene, Jabhat al-Sham.

Jabhat al-Sham are Salafists, hence the raised index finger. What we’re seeing is a deception operation to discredit the US. As of today, the world thinks that US-backed Syrian rebels shot Russian pilots to death as they dangled helplessly from their parachutes. It’s a lie. The US does not back Jabhat al-Sham. Here’s the list of all Syrian rebels that the CIA helps arm.

13th Division (Forqat 13)

101st Division Infantry (Forqat 101 Masha’a)

Knights of Justice Brigade (Liwa’ Fursan al-Haqq)

Falcons of the Mountain Brigade (Liwa’ Suqour al-Jabal)

Grouping of the Falcons of Al-Ghab (Tajamuu Suqour al-Ghab)

1st Coastal Division (Forqat Awwal al-Sahli)

Gathering of Dignity (Tajammu al-Izza’)

Central Division (Al-Forqat al-Wasti)

46th Division (Forqat 46)

Sultan Murad Brigade (Liwa’ Sultan Murad)

Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, (Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki)

Mujahideen Army/Army of Holy Warriors (Jaish al-Mujahideen)

Revolutionaries of al-Sham Brigades (Kata’eb Thuwar al-Sham)

1st Regiment (Al-Fauj al-Awwal)

Ahmed al-Abdo Martyrs’ Force (Quwwat al-Shaheed Ahmad al-Abdo)

Al-Rahman Legion (Faylaq al-Rahman)

Martyrs of Islam Brigade (Liwa’ Shuhadah al-Islam)

Yarmouk Army (Jaish al-Yarmouk)

Lions of Sunnah Division (Forqat Usood al-Sunnah)

the 18th March Division (Forqat 18 Adhar)

Southern Tawhid Brigade (Liwa’ Tawhid al-Junoub)

Hamza Division (Forqat al-Hamza)

1st Artillery Regiment (Al-Fauj al-Awwal Madfa’a)

Syria Revolutionaries Front – Southern Sector (Jabhat Thuwar Souriya)

The First Corps (Faylaq al-Awwal)

The Dawn of Unity Division (Forqat Fajr al-Tawhid)

Salah al-Din Division (Forqat Salah al-Din)

Omari Brigades (Tajammu Alwiyat al-Omari)

Unity Battalions of Horan Brigade (Liwa’ Tawhid Kata’eb Horan)

Youth of Sunnah Brigade (Liwa’ Shabbab al-Sunnah)

Moataz Billah Brigade (Liwa’ Moataz Billah)

Sword of al-Sham Brigades (Alwiyat Saif al-Sham)

Dawn of Islam Division (Forqat Fajr al-Islam)

Supporters of Sunnah Brigade (Liwa’ Ansar al-Sunnah)

Horan Column Division (Forqat Amoud Horan)

Emigrants and Supporters Brigade (Liwa’ Muhajireen wal Ansar)

Military Council in Quneitra and the Golan

United Sham Front (Jabhat al-Sham Muwahidda)

69th Special Forces Division (Forqat 69 Quwwat al-Khassa)

11th Special Forces Division (Forqat 11 Quwwat al-Khassa)

Partisans of Islam Front (Jabhat Ansar al-Islam)

Al-Furqan Brigades (Alwiyat al-Furqan)

The CIA arms the Turkmen Sultan Murad Brigades and Jabhat al-Sham Muwahidda; the latter is not Jabhat al-Sham. It has no connection to either al-Qaeda or the Islamic Front.

Another group that the CIA arms is the 1st Coastal Division. They put out this video, which purports to show the destruction of a Russian CSAR (combat search and rescue) helicopter with an American TOW antitank guided missile (ATGM).

The video is fake, in the sense that the Syrians targeted an abandoned MI-8 Hip helicopter. Russia says that one marine was killed by ground fire, the damaged helicopter landed, and the crew was evacuated. Clearly that’s what happened. The MI-8 was accompanied by at least one MI-28 Havoc gunship.

That Syrian TOW missile squad would not have come out into the open like that unless the Russians were long gone. Also, the TOW missile is guided by wires that are connected to the launcher (red arrow).

Using a TOW is very dangerous because you have to stand motionless while manually guiding the missile onto the target. If a Russian gunship were anywhere nearby, the aircrew would’ve seen the launch and the operator standing stock still. He’d be dead now. This was more theater.

The last bit of fakery is the shooting of the Russian pilots as they came down. Rather than post the ugly videos, I’ll just use two stills. One shows a single pilot with an orange parachute.

The second shows two pilots with white parachutes.

Two different videos. And do you know what would be absolutely priceless to the Syrian opposition? Russian pilots captured alive. Having Major Vasili Komorov on TV confessing that he was wrong to be in Syria would be a once-in-a-lifetime propaganda coup that would increase recruitment dramatically.

Crystal-clear photos of the dead pilot in the bed of a pickup truck show that he was killed by the Turkish air-to-air missile. His torso has small, irregular wounds caused by fragmentation, and he has at least four very large, gaping injuries that were not the result of rifle fire. All of his extremities are unharmed. If several men had fired on him as he came down by parachute, you’d expect that his legs would’ve been hit, but they weren’t.

He has severe blunt trauma to his head, including black eyes swollen shut, and one leg of his trousers was torn off. This is the cockpit of the Su-24.

Strapped to his seat, his head hanging down, he was automatically ejected from that narrow cave, and he struck the metal projections with incredible force. He obviously died immediately; his wounds bled far less than they should’ve if he’d been slowly shot to death as he returned to earth.

Finally, his body is in the exact position in the bed of the pickup that it was on the ground. Rigor mortis had set in by the time Jabhat al-Sham found him.

The fate of the second pilot has not been revealed. Why not? If he were dead, we’d have seen him by now. It’s because almost everything you’ve read about this incident is false.


Russia says the second pilot was picked up by the Syrian army, which proves that the videos of the rebels shooting at the pilots is fake. However, the Russians are perpetuating the lie that the second pilot was killed by ground fire as he descended.

Why am I the only one debunking these moronic, transparent lies? Aren’t there any professional journalists with integrity?

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