Al Arabiya: Turkish pilots rescued and executed by Syria

The two Turkish pilots thought to have perished when Syria shot down their jet on June 22 were actually rescued, interrogated and murdered by Syrian intelligence services, according to secret documents displayed Saturday night by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya news channel. The documents claimed the jet was downed “in coordination with the Russian naval base in Tartus.” The first plan was to transfer the two pilots to Hizballah. But, “based on information and guidance from the Russian leadership… it was decided to eliminate them…”The documents were reportedly obtained with the assistance of Syrian opposition members.  They have not been independently verified.
DEBKAfile: Even if the documents are authentic, their release appears to represent a bid to provoke Turkey into direct military action against the Assad regime and also to compromise Arab governments’ ties with Moscow. It is doubtful that Ankara will be drawn into deepening its involvement in the Syrian conflict so long as US President Barack Obama stays on the sidelines.

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