Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pentagon Releases Report On The Kunduz 'Doctors Without Borders' Hospital Strike

New York Times: U.S. Military Suspends Members Over Kunduz Hospital Strike

KABUL, Afghanistan — The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell, said Wednesday that several service members had been suspended from duty after an internal military investigation of the American airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz last month.

Calling the airstrike a “tragic mistake,” General Campbell read a statement announcing the findings of the investigation, which he said concluded that “avoidable human error” was to blame, compounded by technical, mechanical and procedural failures. He said that another contributing factor was that the Special Forces unit had been fighting continuously for days in Kunduz and were fatigued.

The strike, which involved repeated attack passes by a Special Operations AC-130 gunship early on Oct. 3, gutted the main hospital building and killed 30 people, mostly patients and Doctors Without Borders staff members. The aid group said the attack went on for more than an hour despite repeated calls by staff members to the military, and despite the hospital’s coordinates having been repeatedly sent to the American command.

More News On The Pentagon Releasing Its Report On The Kunduz 'Doctors Without Borders' Hospital Strike

U.S. soldiers who bombed Afghan hospital suspended and face disciplinary action-- AP
U.S. suspends military personnel over attack in Kunduz -- Washington Post
U.S. troops suspended in Kunduz hospital attack, top general says -- Military Times
Officials: Hospital in Kunduz mistaken for Taliban site -- CNN
Strike on MSF hospital in Kunduz due to ‘human error’, US says -- France 24
'Human Error' Cited in Mistaken US Airstrike on Kunduz Hospital -- ABC News
Kunduz bombing: US attacked MSF clinic 'in error' -- BBC
US general: MSF hospital strike in Kunduz caused by 'human error' -- DW
Kunduz Report Update: Doctors Without Borders Hospital Bombed By US Forces Because Of Bad Intel From Afghan Troops -- IBTimes
Kunduz hospital attack: US military took 17 minutes to act on MSF warnings -- The Guardian
Military Releases 3,000-Page Explanation of Why Kunduz Hospital Was Bombed -- NYMag

Turkish Prime Minister Gave The Orders To Shoot-Down The Russian Military Plane

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. AA Photo

ThinkPol: “I gave the order myself” − Turkish PM on downing Russian plane

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu today revealed that he personally gave the order to down the Russian Su-24 fighter jet that lead to the death of one pilot.

“Despite all the warnings of, we had had to destroy the aircraft” Davutoğlu told a meeting of his AK party. “The Turkish Armed Forces carried out orders given by me personally”

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Minister told reporters today that the Russian and Syrian special forces have successfully completed a rescue operation to rescue the navigator who ejected from the Su-24.

“The Captain has been delivered to our base alive and well,” General Sergei Shoigu said. “I would like to thank all of you for working all night at great risk. They completed the job at 03:40 Moscow time.”

WNU Editor: No one else is carrying this story, and no news websites in Turkey have confirmed this story (so far).

Hat Tip to Anon for the above link.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials On The Downing Of A Russian Military Jet By Turkey

New York Times: Behind Russian Jet’s Downing, Building Tensions and Frustrations for Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey — As Turkey and Russia promised on Wednesday not to go to war over the downing of a Russian fighter jet, Turkey’s still-nervous NATO allies and just about everyone else were left wondering why, when minor violations of airspace are relatively common and usually tolerated, Ankara decided this time to risk a serious confrontation with Moscow by taking military action.

The reply from the Turkish government so far has been consistent: Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Turkey had repeatedly called in Russia’s ambassador to complain about bombing raids near its border and previous airspace incursions by Russian aircraft. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday evening — and a Pentagon spokesman later confirmed — that Turkish forces had warned the Russian plane 10 times in five minutes to leave before a Turkish F-16 shot it down.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials On The Downing Of A Russian Military Jet By Turkey

5 things you need to know about Russian jet shot down by Turkey -- Matthew Chance and Michael Martinez, CNN
Turkey's downing of Russian warplane - what we know -- BBC
The Guardian view on the downed Russian jet: stay cool, Ankara and Moscow -- Guardian editorial
Syria war pulls Russia and Turkey into a risky confrontation -- Carol J. Williams and Jeremiah Bailey-Hoover, L.A. Times
The most serious tension between Turkey and Russia -- Murat Yetkin, Hurriyet Daily News
Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet was a confrontation waiting to happen -- The Economist
Downing of Russian jet part of Turkey's 'strange game' in Syria -- Andre Mayer, CBC News
Downing of Russian jet over Turkey inevitable — and may happen again -- Michael Pizzi, Al Jazeera
Putin is Accusing Turkey of Being an ISIS Ally—and He’s At Least Partly Right -- Steve levine, Defense One/Quartz
Why Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in Syria, according to an expert -- Jennifer Williams, VOX
Why Would Turkey Shoot Down A Russian Plane? -- NPR
Erdoğan shoots down Putin: Turkey’s dangerous brinkmanship with Russia. -- Melik Kaylan, Politico
After Turkey's 'stab in the back' to Russia, will anyone support Ankara? -- Semih Idiz, Al Monitor
Ankara's oil business with ISIS -- RT
Will Putin Use Energy Weapon Against Turkey? -- Johnson, Foreign Policy
Turkey shot down a Russian warplane. Why it would happen and why it matters, explained. -- Max Fisher, VOX
Will the downing of a Russian fighter jet wreck Syria peace hopes? -- Mary Dejevsky, The Guardian
Turkey shoots Russian plane: what now for global relations? -- The Week
The shooting down of a Russian jet tangles the diplomatic web still further -- Yavuz Baydar, The Guardian
Turkey Takes Down a Russian Warplane -- Marina Koren, The Atlantic
Moscow and Ankara face historic crisis -- DW
Downed in 17 seconds? Where Turkey’s story of Su-24 violating airspace just doesn’t add up -- RT
'17 Seconds': No One’s Buying Turkey’s Version of Su-24 Story -- Sputnik
Few will believe Russia’s ‘proof’ that its jet was in Syrian airspace -- Keir Giles, The Guardian
NATO survived Cold War, but downed Russian fighter provides biggest threat -- Nic Robertson, CNN
Preventing World War Three in Syria between Turkey and Russia -- Joshua W. Walker, Reuters

Turkey Sends More Planes And Tanks To The Syrian Border

Turkish military vehicles near the Syrian border. © AFP 2015/ ILYAS AKENGIN

Sputnik: Turkey Sends Another 20 Tanks to Syrian Border

The Anadolu news agency reports that the Turkish authorities have sent tanks to its border with Syria.

The Turkish military has sent 20 more tanks to an armored brigade it has stationed at Turkey's western border with Syria, Turkey's Anadolu agency reported on Wednesday.

"Accompanied by police and gendarmes, 20 tanks were sent by rail from Turkey's western provinces by railway to Gaziantep in the south of the country, and then redirected to the Syrian border," a military source told the agency.

WNU Editor: Turkey's President talks about peace .... Turkey's Erdogan says does not want escalation after Russian jet downed (Reuters), but Russians are seeing him as someone who is preparing for war.

Update: Russia Says Turkey's Attack On Jet Was "Planned Provocation" As Ankara Moves Tanks Near Syrian Border (Zero Hedge).

Hat Tip to RRH for the Zero hedge link.

What Has Been The Russian Public's Reaction To Turkey Shooting Down A Russian Military Jet

A Su-34 multifunctional strike bomber of the Russian Aerospace Force takes off from the Hemeimeem Air Base in the Syrian province of Latakia. © Dmitriy Vinogradov / Sputnik

CBS: Mixed response from Russia to downed fighter jet

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- A day after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet over Syria, Moscow said both of its pilots ejected the stricken aircraft and one of them had survived and made it safely to a Russian base in the war-torn country.

Vladimir Putin's government also made it clear that it was prepared to take aim at any foreign planes that threatened Russian aircraft in the future, and they said they would move advanced weapons into place to back up the threat.

But as CBS News correspondent Holly Williams reports, there were also signs that Moscow wanted to avoid further escalating of the tensions between Russia and Turkey -- and by default, NATO.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday morning that Russian leaders "have no intention to go to war with Turkey."

WNU Editor: CBS is saying that responses from Russia are mixed. What's my take from my friends, family, and associates in Russia .... they want payback .... but not now.

Turkey's Downing Of A Russian Military Jet -- News Updates November 25, 2015

Daily Mail: Putin takes his revenge: Russia unleashes heavy bombardment on region held by Turkmen rebels who chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’ over the dead body of pilot shot down by Turkish F-16

* Russia has retaliated against rebel forces who 'shot and killed' one of the pilots of the jet downed by Turkey
* One of the two pilots of Russian jet downed by Turkey rescued in 12-hour operation and taken to Russian base
* Pilot, identified as Cpt Konstantin Murahtin, and fallen co-pilot, Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov to be given state honours
* Audio recording of warnings sent out by Turkey on open channels and confirmed by U.S. military released
* Putin called the incident a 'stab in the back by accomplices of terrorists' and accused Turkey of supporting ISIS
* NATO chief called for 'diplomacy and de-escalation' after emergency meeting of member nations on Tuesday

Russian forces launched at least a dozen airstrikes against insurgent-held areas near the Turkey-Syria border where the Sukhoi SU-24 fighter jet was shot down by the Turkish army yesterday.

Heavy bombardment hit areas controlled by Turkmen rebels, the group claiming to have shot and killed one of the pilots of the Russian jet as he parachuted out of the flaming wreckage, and attempted to kill his co-pilot.

The rebel group released a video showing them cheering and chanting 'Allahu Akbar' as they discovered the body of Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov, who will now receive Russia's highest state honour posthumously.

Turkey's Downing Of A Russian Military Jet -- News Updates November 25, 2015

Russian warplane shot down at Syria-Turkey border LIVE UPDATES -- RT
Nato meets as Russia confirms one of two pilots dead after jet shot down - as it happened -- The Guardian
Russian plane shot down live: Surviving pilot gives his first interview since jet downed - latest updates -- The Independent

Russia will continue air strikes in Syria near Turkish border: Kremlin -- Reuters
Russia vows to continue Syria air strikes close to Turkish border -- Financial Times
Putin sends air-defense missiles to Syria to deter Turkey -- AP
Russia to bolster Syria base, eyes economic retaliation against Turkey -- Reuters
Russian President Putin orders air defence missiles to Syria after Turkey downs warplane -- AP
Russia says downing of its jet won't deflect it from Syria mission -- Reuters
Russia’s Putin Pushes Tough Stance on Turkey’s Shootdown of Warplane Near Syria Border -- WSJ
Tensions rise as Russia says it's deploying anti-aircraft missiles to Syria -- CNN
Russian missile cruiser off Latakia coast, ready to destroy dangerous air targets - Defense Minister -- RT
Moscow to deploy S-400 defense missile system to Khmeimim airbase in Syria -- RT
S-400 Will be Deployed at Syrian Airbase Hmeymim - Russian Defense Minister -- Sputnik
Russia to send S-400 air defense system to Syria after jet shot down: agencies -- Reuters
Kremlin: Russian S-400 missile systems will be returned home after Syria operation is over -- TASS
Putin sends air defense missiles to Syria to deter Turkey -- AP
Russia beefs up military assets in Syria in response to Turkey’s downing of jet -- FOX News
Russia suggests downed warplane was ‘planned provocation’. -- ABC News
Downing of Russian Su-24 looks like a planned provocation - Lavrov -- RT
No contacts between Putin, Erdogan after Su-24 downing — Kremlin -- TASS
Turkey violated Syria sovereignty by attacking Su-24 in its airspace – Syrian FM -- RT
Russian FM Lavrov's Address Following Downing of Su-24 by Turkey -- Sputnik
Russian foreign minister calls plane downing ‘planned provocation’ -- Washington Post
Russia planning no war with Turkey — FM -- TASS
Russia will not wage war on Turkey after it downed Russian jet: foreign minister -- Reuters
Ankara defends ISIS, Turkish officials have financial interest in oil trade with group - PM Medvedev -- RT
Russia-Turkish Relations at Crossroads After Su-24 Attack -- Sputnik
Russia and Turkey Seek to Defuse Tensions Over Jet Downing -- NYT
World leaders react to Turkey's downing of Russian jet -- Al Jazeera
EU, NATO Urge Restraint After Russian Jet Shot Down -- Defense News
Turkey's Erdogan says does not want escalation after Russian jet downed -- Reuters
Obama, Turkey's Erdogan Confer on Downing of Russian Warplane -- VOA
Obama points finger at Russia over jet shoot-down by Turkey -- FOX News

First Pictures Emerge Of The Russian Pilot Saved And The Russian Pilot And Marine Killed

© Sputnik/ Dmitry Vinogradov

Daily Mail: First pictures emerge of Russian pilot killed when Turkish F-16 shot down his jet over Syria, plus the co-pilot who survived and infantryman killed during daring rescue mission

* Cpt. Konstantin Murahtin and Lt. Col Oleg Peshkov piloted Russian jet
* Both parachuted when Turkey shot jet, Peshkov killed by Syrian rebels
* Cpt. Murahtin was rescued in 12-hour military operation overnight
* Russian soldier Alexandr Pozynich was killed during the rescue op

This is the Russian jet pilot who survived being shot down by the Turkish army and was rescued in a dramatic 12-hour military operation earlier today.

Captain Konstantin Murahtin had been taken by rebel forces, and was saved by Russian military in an all-night joint operation with Syrian government forces, and taken to a Russian air base.

His co-pilot Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov has been confirmed dead, reportedly shot by Syrian Turkmen rebels as he parachuted out of the flaming wreckage of their Sukhoi SU-24.

WNU Editor: Russian news websites are not showing the faces of the two who were killed or the one who was saved .... but the Daily Mail (somehow) got them.

Second Russian Pilot Shot Down By Turkey Rescued. Russian Pilot Claims Turkey Gave No Warning

RT: One of 2 Russian pilots shot down by Turkey rescued, back to airbase in Syria

The second Russian pilot, who ejected from the Su-24 bomber shot down by Turkey on Tuesday over Syria, is safe and sound and has been taken to the Russian airbase in Latakia, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.

“The [rescue] operation is successfully over. The pilot has been delivered to our base. Safe and sound,” Shoigu said during a meeting of the Defense Committee, adding that the operation was performed by Russian and Syrian special forces.

Shoigu said the joint operation had taken about 12 hours and thanked all special forces’ personnel that took part in the operation to rescue the pilot.

The information that one of the two pilots from the downed plane is alive was released earlier on Wednesday by the Russian ambassador in France, Aleksandr Orlov. He said the pilot had been wounded.

More News On The Rescue Of The Second Russian Pilot Shot Down By Turkey

RT's Roman Kosarev 1st journalist to talk to saved pilot of Su-24 shot down by Turkey (VIDEO) -- RT
Second pilot of downed Su-24 jet safe, brought to Russian base — Russian defense minister -- TASS
Downed Su-24 Pilot Found 'Safe And Sound', Taken to Hmeymim Base -- Sputnik
Russia says second pilot of downed warplane rescued in Syria -- AFP
Putin confirms Russian pilot rescued by Syrian commando unit -- AP
Second Russian airman shot down by Turkey is alive, says Moscow -- The Guardian
Russian, Syrian special forces rescue Russian pilot: Syrian media -- Reuters
Russian Pilot Safe After Jet Shot Down on Syria-Turkey Border -- NBC
Second Russian pilot rescued by Syrian army -- DW
Missing Russian jet pilot 'alive and well' in Syria -- BBC
One Russian pilot rescued, one dead after warplane was shot down -- UPI
Russian jet shot down: Second pilot of downed warplane rescued in Syria; Turkey seeks to ease tensions -- ABC News (Australia)
Pilot: Turkey did not issue warning before downing Russian warplane -- Irish Times
'Turkey gave no warning' - downed Russian pilot -- BBC

World News Briefs -- November 25, 2015

Reuters: Russia says downing of its jet won't deflect it from Syria mission

Russia sent an advanced missile system to Syria on Wednesday to protect its jets operating there and pledged its air force would keep flying missions near Turkish air space, sounding a defiant note after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet.

The downing of the jet on Tuesday was one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member and Russia for half a century, and further complicated international efforts to battle Islamic State militants in Syria.


Russia bombards Syrian rebels near site of downed Russian jet.

Syrian government forces take key regions in Latakia province.

Syrian army source: rebels make heavy use of TOW missiles.

Russia suggests downed warplane was ‘planned provocation’.

Turkish, Russian foreign ministers agree to meet in coming days: official. Turkey, Russia foreign ministers may meet next week in Belgrade - Turkish official.

U.N. accuses Houthis of blocking supply routes to Yemen's Taiz city.

Palestinian stabs Israeli soldier and is shot dead: army.


Afghan forces launch bid to rescue 18 captured by Taliban. Afghan forces attempt rescue soldiers held hostage by Taliban.

Pentagon inquiry finds human, technical errors led to Kunduz hospital airstrike. Officials: Hospital in Kunduz mistaken for Taliban site.

Four dead as attackers storm Indian army camp in Kashmir. Indian commandos kill militants in Kashmir army base gunbattle. India Kashmir stand-off ends, four killed.

North Korea's No.2 believed banished by Kim Jong Un.

Japan Defense Minister supports US in South China Sea.

U.S. raises military aid to Philippines amid sea tension with China.

At least two dead as Australia bushfire burns out of control.


Officials confirm Tunis attack was suicide blast.

Tunisia on alert after Presidential Guard bus bombing kills 12.

Pope brings peace message to Africa amid security fears. Pope heads to Africa hoping to bridge Christian-Muslim faultlines. Pope Francis in Kenya at start of African tour.

Mali businesses see drop in activity after Radisson attack.

Rift between terrorists fuelled Mali attacks.

Germany to send up to 650 soldiers to Mali for peacekeeping mission.

ISIL claims deadly attack in Egypt's Sinai.

Fears in Liberia after new Ebola death.


Brussels emerges from lockdown.

Paris attacks: Another attack could have been hours away.

Hungary detains group heading to capital with explosives, finds bomb lab.

Russia halts natural gas supplies to Ukraine as payments end. Ukraine stops buying Russian gas, closes airspace.

Crimea explosion leaves millions without power.

EU sounds alarm as internal barriers rise in refugee crisis.

Sweden slams shut its open-door policy towards refugees.

Merkel stays the course in German refugee debate. Defiant Merkel vows to stand by refugee policy despite security fears.

Migrant crisis: 'EU cannot take any more refugees'.


US State Department terror warning casts shadow over Thanksgiving travel.

Canada slows down Syrian refugee intake.

Argentines brace for overhauls under Macri.

Petrobras probe arrests Brazil billionaire Andre Esteves.

Haiti election results trigger violent protests.

Thousands of Cubans stuck after Nicaragua declines to open border.

Protesters march in Chicago after video showing police officer shooting black teen released.


Teenage Islamist 'poster girl' who fled Austria to join ISIS 'is beaten to death by the terror group after trying to escape from Syria'.

Appeals court says drone memos can stay secret.

'Severe blow': Al Qaeda suicide bomber takes out leadership of key ISIS brigade.

95% of foreign fighters who join ISIS are recruited by friends and family and radicalisation 'rarely occurs in mosques' claims Oxford University terrorism expert.


Oil and gas companies 'risk losing $2tn'.

Oil outlook 'subdued' despite rally: RBC expert.

China's biggest brokerage Citic in $166bn error.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- November 25, 2015

An S-400 "Triumf" antiaircraft missile system. © Kirill Kallinikov / Sputnik

RT: Moscow to deploy S-400 defense missile system to Khmeimim airbase in Syria

The Russian Air Force base in Latakia will be reinforced with S-400 SAM system, which will soon be deployed there, Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.

"S-400 will be deployed on Khmeimim airbase in Syria," Shoigu said at a Defense Ministry meeting.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian Su-24 was shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet near the Turkish-Syrian border. One pilot died in the incident. The second one was rescued and brought to the Russian airbase in Latakia.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- November 25, 2015

Kremlin: Russian S-400 missile systems will be returned home after Syria operation is over -- TASS

Russian missile cruiser off Latakia coast, ready to destroy dangerous air targets - Defense Minister -- RT

Russia says downing of its jet won't deflect it from Syria mission -- Reuters

Russia suspends military cooperation with Turkey -- Al Jazeera

EU, NATO Urge Restraint After Russian Jet Shot Down -- Defense News

Turkey Appoints Yilmaz As Defense Minister Again -- Defense News

Analysis: Downing of Russian jet sets back France's anti-ISIL plan -- Oren Dorell, USA Today

U.S., France to press allies for more assets in fight against the Islamic State -- Washington Post

Russia Builds Military Capacity Taking Into Account Global Situation -- Sputnik

Russian Military Delegation to Visit China - Defense Ministry -- Sputnik

China To Open First Military Base In Africa, Signs Deal With Djibouti, US General Says -- IBTimes

China Is Setting Up Its First Military Base in Africa -- National Interest

Egypt, Russia Negotiating Missile Sale -- Defense News

SDSR 2015: UK commits to full F-35B procurement, fast tracks initial deliveries -- IHS Jane's 360

Israel extends military exemption for ultra-Orthodox Jews -- AFP

French military flooded with applications since Charlie Hebdo attacks -- Washington Post

Algeria Military Court to Try Intelligence Official --

U.S. Military Report Concludes Human Error Led to Afghan Hospital Bombing -- WSJ

MSF Hospital Was Misidentified by U.S. Before It Was Bombed: Report -- NBC/AP

U.S. raises military aid to Philippines amid sea tension with China -- Reuters

Obama meets with national security advisers on Islamic State threat: White House -- Reuters

Obama draws criticism for doubling down on current ISIS strategy -- The Hill

Guam, Marianas brace for massive US military redeployment -- RT

US Navy's New Sub Hunter Builds Reputation in Pacific with Secret Flights -- Tribune

DARPA looks to build a foundation for systems-of-systems -- Defense Systems

Inside the Pentagon’s biotech strike force -- Stat

US Patriot PAC-3 Intercept Missile Destroys Test Target - Lockheed Martin -- Sputnik

Four killed in military helicopter crash at U.S. Army base in Texas -- Reuters

Outrage as military vehicles, equipment taken from officers in wake of Obama order -- FOX News

The $43 Million Afghan Gas Station Scandal Blows the Lid Off Pentagon Waste -- Fiscal Times

Watch incredible slow-motion video of some of the US military's heaviest guns in action -- Business Insider

Stories of a Spy: One of the CIA's Oldest Talks -- USA Today

When the spooks get it wrong -- Washington Times editorial

World War III Trends on Twitter as Putin Decries Turkey's 'Stab in the Back' -- NBC

Europe Girds for War -- Daniel Goure, Lexington Institute

Former General And CIA Director David Petraeus: Keep U.S. Troops Out Of Syria

Fiscal Times: Retired US General Petraeus is warning the US to keep troops out of Syria

Retired U.S. Army General David Petraeus, the man who oversaw the (temporary) restoration of order in Iraq following the Sunni awakening and the subsequent surge of American troops there, doesn’t see much hope for a similar process in Syria.

In an interview with PBS host Charlie Rose, Petraeus warned against putting American troops on the ground in the war-torn country, saying the country “may be a Humpty Dumpty that can't be put back together again … One doesn't know what the various outcomes could be.”

Petraeus, who was forced to resign as CIA director after acknowledging that he supplied classified materials to his biographer, with whom he was having an extramarital affair, is still remembered by many as the most successful U.S. general in recent generations, even as the two wars for which he is best known, in Iraq and Afghanistan, resulted in states that can’t successfully govern themselves.

WNU Editor: He is not optimistic on what is happening in the region .... and this interview was done before Tuesday's downing of a Russian military plane by Turkey.

The A-10 Has Proven Its Value In Battle (Again)

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft from Bagram Air Base flies a combat mission over Afghanistan, in this handout photograph taken on June 14, 2009 and obtained on May 20, 2014. REUTERS/Staff Sgt. Jason Robertson/U.S. Air Force/Handout via Reuters

David Axe, Reuters: How an ugly, brutally effective warplane won the battle for its future

U.S.-backed Syrian rebels launched an attack late last month on Islamic State militants near the town of Hawl in northern Syria. They regained control of roughly 100 square miles of territory, according to the U.S. Defense Department.

“It was a fairly straightforward, conventional offensive operation,” Army Colonel Steve Warren told reporters via video conference from Baghdad, “where we estimated … several hundred enemy [fighters] were located in that vicinity.”

Warren continued his description. “There was a substantial friendly force — well over 1,000 participated in the offensive part of this operation. And they were able to very deliberately execute the plan that they had made themselves.”

WNU Editor: It appears that this much maligned close-air support plane has a few more years left before it is replaced (maybe).

Turkey Violated Greek Airspace 2,244 Times Last Year

Daily Caller: Turkey Violated Greek Airspace 2,244 Times Last Year, Fires At Russia For Doing It Once

Turkey shot down a Russian warplane for violating its airspace Tuesday, but the Turkish air force does the exact same thing several times a day in Greece.

Turkey was quick to defend its action by stating it issued 10 warnings over the course of five minutes before firing on the plane.

“The data we have is very clear. There were two planes approaching our border, we warned them as they were getting too close,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters. “Our findings show clearly that Turkish air space was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly.”

WNU Editor: I forgot about Greece's complaints on Turkey violating their airspace .... Greeck - Turkish Tensions Return Over Their Border Disputes.

Turkey And Russia Have Released Competing Maps On The Flight Paths Of Their Jets Before Russia's SU-24 Was Shot Down

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Business Insider: War of the maps: Turkey released a map showing where Russia violated its airspace, and Russia countered

Turkey and Russia have released competing maps showing where a Russian warplane violated — or steered clear of, depending on the point of view — Turkish airspace before it was shot down early Tuesday.

Shortly after the jet was downed, the Turkish military published a radar map demonstrating the reported flight path of the jet it shot down, which Ankara is using as proof that the pilots violated the country's airspace:

The blue line is the Turkish border, and the red arrow is pointing to the spot at which the warplane reportedly entered Turkish airspace.

WNU Editor: What I found interesting about the maps is that the Turkish map shows their jet approaching the border .... and it stops there .... they erased the flight path on where the plane was going next. Hmmm .... you have to wonder if the Turkish jet entered Syrian airspace. As to the Russian map .... their definition of where the border runs is slightly different from the Turkish map. It's a small difference, but for high flying fast jets .... that small difference could mean being on one side of the border (or not).

Update: This is not going to help Turkey's case .... Russian jet hit inside Syria after incursion into Turkey: U.S. official (Reuters).

How Has Russian Media Covered The Shooting Down Of A Russian Jet By Turkey


IBTimes: How Russia's Media Covered Turkey Shooting Down A Russian Fighter Jet

Russian state-owned television portrayed Turkey on Tuesday evening news bulletins as a supporter of the Islamic State group that had been angered by Russia’s allegedly successful air campaign in Syria, while commentators expressed fear that the Kremlin's response could lead to Russian jets becoming entangled in dogfights with their Turkish counterparts. “There are many cases when a plane of one country violates the airspace of another country,” said a reporter on state-owned Channel One. “To shoot a plane down you have to want to shoot it down.”

Most state-owned Russian media stressed the Russian ground attack aircraft that was targeted had been flying over Syrian territory when it was shot down by Turkey Tuesday. They speculated over Turkey’s possible motivation for such an act of aggression.

WNU Editor: For this story I watched and listened to U.S., Canadian, British, and Russian media .... and I found very little if any difference in the coverage. Russian pundits were more worried on escalation .... but even U.S. conservative talk show host Sean Hannity was giving the benefit of the doubt to Russia. Overall .... I guess I can say that opinion was mixed. Russian social media .... that is a different story. It ranged from launching retaliatory strikes against Turkey .... to getting the hell out of Syria.

NATO Adopts The Cautious Approach To The Russian - Turkey Crisis But What Happens If Events Go Out Of Control?

Paul Roderick Gregory, Forbes: If Turkey And Russia Continue Fighting, It May Threaten NATO's Existence

We all knew it would happen, whether off the coast of Alaska, over the Baltic Sea, or in the Middle East. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been routinely challenging the NATO airspace for months, well before entering the Syrian conflict. Military experts warned that Russian aircraft flying in crowded airspace with transponders off is a recipe for disaster.

That disaster has occurred, only not in the form of the anticipated accident. Rather the Kremlin misjudged Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who responded to Russia’s provocations by shooting down a Russian fighter plane over its territory, after warning the Russian fighter to leave its air space 10 times. An enraged Putin responded with threats and accused Turkey of being “an accomplice to terror” and “stabbing him in the back.” Turkey has vigorously defended its actions, declaring that it gave ample warning to the Russian jet to leave its air space. Russia’s controlled media released a withering barrage accusing Turkey of being the main sponsor of ISIS and Islamic terrorism.

WNU Editor: NATO is not going to back Turkey if things get out of hand. The response from NATO ambassadors on Tuesday is very telling (from Reuters) ....

.... NATO ambassadors called on Ankara to show "cool-headedness" on Tuesday following an emergency meeting in Brussels, after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border, diplomats said.

Diplomats present at the meeting told Reuters that while none of the 28 NATO envoys defended Russia's actions, many expressed concern that Turkey did not escort the Russian warplane out of its airspace.

Not exactly what I would call a vote of confidence in Turkey.

Interestingly .... in many of the commentaries and opinions that I am now reading .... many pundits (both right and left) are adopting a very hostile view towards Turkey. Case in point .... Turkey Brings NATO to the Precipice of War With Russia (James Carden, The Nation) .... and .... Will reckless Turkey draw NATO into war with Russia? (L. Todd Wood, Washington Times) .... and .... NATO Should Tell Turkey: ‘This Thanksgiving, You’re Dumped’ (Raheem Kassam, Breitbart). When Breitbart and The Nation see eye-to-eye on an issue .... that is something that everyone should take notice.

More News On NATO's Response To Tuesday's Incident Of Turkey Shooting Down A Russian Military Jet

NATO head urges 'calm, de-escalation' after Russian plane downed -- AFP
NATO urges calm after Turkey shoots down Russian plane -- CBS
NATO Expresses Solidarity With Turkey After Russian Jet Shooting -- WSJ
NATO Backs Turkey But Seeks to Lower Tensions With Russia -- VOA
Security leaders: NATO, Russia need to talk -- Politico
Nato and UN seek calm over Turkish downing of Russian jet -- The Guardian
NATO faces new Mideast crisis after downing of Russian jet by Turkey -- Washington Post

Update: Russia is not impressed with NATO's response .... Russian envoy: Ankara forced NATO to excuse the downing of Russian Su-24 (TASS)

U.S. War Planes Ran Out Of Ammo During Attack On Islamic State Oil Trucks And Refinery

Washington Examiner: U.S. ran out of ammo in attack on ISIS trucks

American forces made one of their most effective hits against the Islamic State on Nov. 15, when U.S. planes destroyed 116 tanker trucks used by the terrorist organization to transport the stolen oil that is its financial lifeblood.

American A-10 and C-130 warplanes targeted a group of about 300 trucks near Abu Kamal, in Syria. Given that the Islamic State is thought to have just over 1,000 trucks in its entire fleet, the group of 300 represented a huge target for U.S. planes.

At a Pentagon news conference last Wednesday, reporters wanted to know why American forces did not take out more than 116 trucks. Why not all 300, or something close to that? A U.S. official said the American attackers simply ran out of ammunition.

WNU Editor: Unbelievable .... makes you wonder on who is planning the mission. But thank God the F-35s are not ready for combat and were not deployed for this mission .... aside from the bombs that they carry their Gatling gun has only enough ammo to last 4 seconds .... The F-35's Gatling Gun Has Only Enough Bullets To Fire For 4 Seconds.

Update: I's still trying to figure out this one .... US Air Force bombs 238 ISIS oil trucks in Syria but is forced to defend tactic of dropping leaflets beforehand to warn civilians after claims that it tipped off jihadists (Daily Mail).

U.S. Military Finally Release Video Of Its Air-Strikes On Islamic State Oil Trucks

Business Insider: US military has released video of its airstrikes pounding ISIS oil trucks

The US military has released new videos showcasing the anti-ISIS coalition's latest airstrikes against ISIS oil trucks.

The airstrikes, which were conducted on over the weekend in eastern Syria, destroyed 283 oil trucks belonging to the militant organization. According to the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) responsible for anti-ISIS operations, the strikes are part of the broader Operation Tidal Wave II.

The operation is aimed to completely shutter ISIS's production of oil in eastern Syria and its subsequent sale on the black market.

WNU Editor: That's a lot of trucks to destroy.