By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Syria shot down a Turkish F-4 Phantom fighter jet last Friday. The incident ignited an already tense relationship between two countries that share a 900 mile border.
Turkey has said that in 2012, Syrian helicopters crossed into Turkish air space five times. From now on, they say, Syrian aircraft in their air space will be considered hostile and not simply pilot error.
But yesterday, Syria came up with and an interesting excuse. The Syrians are saying that their investigation suggests that the people manning their anti-aircraft battery assumed that the F-4 was Israeli - not Turkish - and that explains why the plane was targeted and downed.
The F-4 is an American plane and the Israeli air force is almost all American fighter jets. But since 2008 Israel has not flown the F-4. Now the Israeli air force almost exclusively flies F-15 & F-16.
Back in 2000 Israel still had about 100 F-4's but in today's competitive aerial fighting environment the F-4 cannot hold its own.
Syria made a huge error. Nice try at covering it up, but not at all even plausible. Bad intel and worse training.
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