The Hunt for the Wreckage of the Russian Jet Begins - What Weapons Were Used to Take it Down?
Farewell to the hero, grief and honors aren’t the end to the story with the crashed Su-25. There’ll be a continuation. Now, our military intelligence has an important task: to find the wreckage of the aircraft and fragments of the missile, which will help identify what type of a portable anti-aircraft missile system, MANPADS, terrorists used. There’s no doubt that it was MANPADS.
Even after some militant, Mahmoud Haj Ismail, call sign Castro, from some group called Jash Idlib Khur, told some independent journalists from some strange organization Northern Syria Observer that it was he, Castro, who shot down the Russian armored Su-25, and he allegedly shot from a Soviet paired antiaircraft gun manufactured half a century ago, ZU-23-2, as if from a machine gun. This organized informational fake is for the credulous and aimed at deliberately confusing the public opinion, hiding the obvious and very dangerous. Terrorists are armed with MANPADS. Man-portable air-defense systems are delivered to fanatics, their people are trained, and they already started using them.
It’s confirmed that the heat-seeking missile flew into the nozzle of the right engine of our Su-25. Experienced pilot Major Roman Filipov immediately reported this over the radio to his wingman, another pilot who flew behind, covering him on his attack plane.
Later, the wingman clearly described what happened: «When the MANPADS hit the commander's plane, all bets were off. I’ve always covered the commander in the air, I had to do it on the ground when he already started the fight. I remained in that area and executed several attacks.»
That is, the pilot who flew behind Roman Filipov saw that it was a MANPADS missile. That’s what he said: «When the MANPADS hit.» And we’re being lied to by some kind of anonymous false-Castro. We've cleared up this situation.
Another question is where did terrorists get the MANPADS from? And this is important. A related question is what type of MANPADS are those, who manufactured them? It could be the American Stinger, the old Soviet Strela, the newer Igla or, say, the Chinese FN-6. If we determine the type, it’ll be easier to trace the supply chain.
If we look at it from the other side, by the classic approach «who benefits from it», then the more technologically advanced weapons in the hands of terrorists in Syria are beneficial primarily to the United States. This is true if we judge not by words. After the tragedy in Idlib, they began mumbling «No, no, it wasn’t us» suspiciously fast. This is true if we judge by specific actions of the Americans in Syria and the historical experience of our relations.
First about the actions. The US troops illegally deployed in Syria, despite the protests from the legitimate government, set up military bases there. They announced the creation of uncoordinated «border security forces» and aimed at the dismemberment of Syria in spite of all the UN Security Council resolutions and agreements with Russia. Moreover, since last year, they’ve been supporting militants fighting against the Syrian army. It went so far that the Russian Defence Ministry was forced to declare: «The main obstacle to the completion of the destruction of ISIS in Syria is not the fighting capabilities of terrorists but the support and overture of American colleagues with them».
On Friday, it was reported that the dam in Raqqa, which is under the control of the pro-American coalition, was lifted unexpectedly, and the Euphrates waters destroyed the bridge near Deir ez-Zor built by the Russian military. The structure was temporary, but it anyway served as a transport artery for the region. And at the beginning of the year, a swarm of drones attacked the Russian airbase of Khmeimim. They were allegedly handmade, insulated with green adhesive tape, but they wouldn’t have been able to take off without the high technologies that the most developed states in the world own. It's good that we shot down these drones, landed some of them and took them for research. But the fact is that the terrorists have now mastered the drones. Who helped them?
It’s clear that the US resolutely rejects all questions. But we've been through this before. Afghanistan is a good historical example. Back then, the US president Reagan decided to annoy the Soviet Union and supply the Stinger MANPADS to mujahideen for them to fight our armored combat helicopters Mi-24D. This is what Milton Bearden, the head of the CIA's headquarters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in those years. He also directed secret operations against the USSR on the territory of Afghanistan.
Milton Bearden: «Soviet Mi-24D helicopters, Crocodiles, are very powerful and dangerous. They represented a serious threat to the insurgents. They could do nothing about them. Their 12- and 7-millimeter machine guns simply couldn’t break their armor. Bullets bounced off. Therefore, in 1985, we decided to give the rebels weapons that would help them cope with the USSR air strike forces. And the Stinger was such a weapon. We took them into service and trained the Afghans. And in September 1986, near Jalalabad, a group of mujahideen armed with Stingers hit a detachment of Soviet Crocodiles. Yes, that’s what the games of the Cold War were like».
Are these the same games that Americans are playing now in Syria? After all, the only thing they do is militating against a seemingly agreed goal, the final expulsion of terrorists and the political settlement in Syria. They dissuaded the leaders of the Syrian opposition from going to Sochi to assist the recent Congress of the National Dialogue of Syria, and when fifteen thousand representatives of the most diverse political and ethnic groups came there anyway, the United States hastened to devalue the whole event and said that we invited the wrong people.
Or all these accusations against Russia when they say that we allegedly cover Bashar Assad, who uses chemical weapons here and there. At the same time, Americans categorically oppose the creation of a mechanism for investigating chemical attacks with mandatory experts’ checks on the scene. And after all, we’ve also gone through false accusations of chemical weapons usage. And it was also in Afghanistan. Let’s come back to the confessions of the former resident of the CIA there, Milton Bearden. He made them 30 years after the events for the documentary Afgan by Andrei Kondrashov.
Milton Bearden: «There were a lot of stories, everyone was sure that you were using prohibited chemical weapons and other things prohibited by international law, which wasn’t true. But newspapers and magazines all over the world wrote about it. Yellow rain, it wasn’t true».
Doesn’t it look like what’s happening now? But Milton Bearden’s comments are getting more interesting. The ones about «toy bombs». It's a word for mines disguised as children's toys, allegedly scattered by Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan. It’s not true either.
Milton Bearden: «But look at the headlines! You didn’t do this. But it was an interesting story, we promoted it. In fact, it was a fiction by one journalist who said that you stuffed toys with explosives, and kids picked them. That never happened, but the myth was wonderful. Everyone knows what a great Russian soul feels towards children, but you know that the lie is part of the war».
The lie is part of the war. Have the US, their morals and methods changed a lot since then? Where do the terrorists in Syria get MANPADS from? Of course, we can now sort out different ways of delivery, routes, chains, accidents, and even countries from Ukraine and Bulgaria, to Jordan, Israel, and Iraq.
But one thing is clear: from now on, these weapons — MANPADS — can be used by terrorists not only against Russian attack planes in Syria but also against civil aircraft anywhere on the planet.
And the last thing. December 23, 2016, outgoing US President Obama signed a law on the defense budget, which provided for the authorization to supply arms to anti-government forces in Syria, including MANPADS. In early January of this year, within the framework of a secret deal reported by the Arab information portal Al-Masdar News, the United States, within the framework of a secret agreement, delivered a batch of weapons, including MANPADS, to the Syrian Kurds of YPG formations in Afrin. Afrin is only one hundred kilometers away from Idlib, where terrorists shot down our Su-25 a week ago. Just a hundred kilometers.