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F-16 Rebel Pilots Had Erdogan’s Plane Locked In, But Decided Not To Fire

Rebel pilots of two F-16 fighter jets had Erdogan's plane in their sights, but decided not to fire.

Now that the coup in Turkey has come and gone, Erdogan emerging stronger than ever, the anti-coup is in full swing.

The Turkish Interior Ministry has announced that some 30 governors and 7,899 police officers have been dismissed for their alleged complicity in the coup attempt. 50 high-ranking civil officials have also been removed from their posts.

CNN Turk reports…

“Thirty Turkish governors and fifty-two civil inspectors removed from post after coup attempt.”

Turkish media is also reporting that a national court has sanctioned the arrest of 41 out of 103 detained generals and admirals suspected of plotting the coup.

Turkish news outlet, Hurriyet Daily, is reporting that the Turkish Interior Ministry has suspended a total of 8,777 officials in the wake of a failed coup in the country.

Meanwhile, more news pours in as to what actually unfolded during the coup attempt. The latest information hitting the wires, reveals that the rebel pilots of two F-16 fighters had Erdogan’s plane in their sights, but decided not to shoot down the Turkish leader’s plane.

Reuters reports

The Turkish leader was returning to Istanbul from a holiday near the coastal resort of Marmaris after a faction in the military launched the coup attempt on Friday night, sealing off a bridge across the Bosphorus, trying to capture Istanbul’s main airport and sending tanks to parliament in Ankara.

“At least two F-16s harassed Erdogan’s plane while it was in the air and en route to Istanbul. They locked their radars on his plane and on two other F-16s protecting him,” a former military officer with knowledge of the events told Reuters.

“Why they didn’t fire is a mystery,” he said.

Zerohedge further adds..

Looking back at the failed Turkish coup, one question that nobody has been able to answer is why, if the coup was indeed a serious attempt at government overthrow, did the organizers not do the first thing that military coups have done since time immemorial: either capture, or simply eliminate the existing ruler, the vacationing president Erdogan?

The government narrative (via Zerohedge):

Erdogan said as the coup unfolded that the plotters had tried to attack him in the resort town of Marmaris and had bombed places he had been at shortly after he left. He “evaded death by minutes”, the second official said.

Around 25 soldiers in helicopters descended on a hotel in Marmaris on ropes, shooting, just after Erdogan had left in an apparent attempt to seize him, pro-government broadcaster CNN Turk said.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had also been directly targeted in Istanbul during the coup bid and had narrowly escaped, the official said, without giving details.

Flight tracker websites showed a Gulfstream IV aircraft, a type of business jet owned by the Turkish government, take off from Dalaman airport, which is about an hour and a quarter’s drive from Marmaris, at about 2240 GMT on Friday.

It later circled in what appeared to be a holding pattern just south of Istanbul, around the time when a Reuters witness in the airport was still hearing bursts of gunfire, before finally coming in to land.


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Alex Christoforou
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