Turkey’s Shootdown of Russian Jet Was a War Crime

A top U.S. air defense commander told Fox news that Turkey’s shootdown of the Russian jet “had to be pre-planned“.

But even if it wasn’t, the shootdown was still a war crime …

Specifically, as the U.S. commander notes in the linked interview, Russia was in no way threatening Turkey. It was unambiguously on a bombing run against ISIS.

International law expert Francis Boyle – Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, who was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989  – notes by email:

The Russian bombing of Syria is technically legal because they have the explicit permission of the Syrian government, but of course Putin will ultimately act in accord with his interests, not what is best for the Syrian people.


As the International Court of Justice ruled in the seminal Nicaragua case (1986), any use of force even in alleged self-defense must also fulfill the basic customary international law requirements of (1) necessity and (2) proportionality. Even accepting the government of Turkey’s version of events, it does not appear that there was any “necessity” for Turkey to destroy the Russian jet.

Washington’s Blog asked Boyle whether this is analogous to the “use of force” by someone with a gun who claims he was threatened by someone else. He answered affirmatively, explaining:

Necessity and Proportionality are each separate requirements for the use of force in self-defense.

From another [International Court of Justice] case, the basic test for “necessity” is that the necessity of self-defense must be instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation. Clearly, that was not the case here.

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  • kimyo

    typo alert – 3rd paragraph – ” Russia was in no way threatening Russia.”

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    • mulga mumblebrain

      John Cohen, to use his original name, that which his brother still bears, is creating the New World Zionazi Order, by putting the Oded Yinon Plan into practise. And as the Yesha Council of Rabbis and Torah Sages declared in 2006, as Israel was bombing Lebanon to rubble, the millions of civilians deaths that occur are not just permissible, contrary to International Law (derided as ‘Christian morality’)but are, in fact, mitzvot, or religiously sanctioned ‘good deeds’.

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        Sure About This ???

        • mulga mumblebrain

          Absolutely! The Yesha Council speaks for the orthodox and ultra-orthodox, and the ‘settler’ Judaic Taliban. I’d imagine that many Jews do not agree, but the Yesha Council are powerful and influential, and the Israeli military-political-intelligence elite are increasingly dominated by this type, as are wide swathes of Israeli society, perhaps even a majority. The other facts, ie Kerry/Cohen and Oded Yinon are indisputable.

          • berger friedrich-wolfgang

            With your “Religion – based OVERSIGHT” , you Surely make the Bucks !!!

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          It was no ‘mistake’ It was just ‘divide and rule’ tactics. The Israeli elite regard the Palestinians as insects, so there are no scruples over any suffering inflicted on them.

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      Congrats to Patient “American Judeo – christian AY-SAYER-CLASS” for still BELIEVING in the INTEGRITY of their Political “MUPPET SHOW” !!! This Oligarchic ELITE Surely serve “Their INTERESTS” !!!

      • It is only is a muppet show for low information and all of government schooled folks!

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        • berger friedrich-wolfgang

          That “It is only is a muppet show for low information and all of government schooled folks” , Surely is not my Personal Fault ! As also the governing Elite’s CREATION of Proxies is not the ordinary Citizen’s Fault . What in the Meantime has become a Global Problem , is the Ongoing ATTEMPT of the governing OLIGARCHS to “Fight OTHER ENEMIES” !!!

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      Ron Paul’s Suspicious Notion on Repeating Zionist Doubt-raising SMEAR on the Legality of ASSAD’S LEADERSHIP Does not fit the Logics of Being against governing MUPPETS ! This Guy ‘s just 2nd Choice for PUPPETEER ROTHSCHILD !!!

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  • Brockland A.T.

    Its hilarious that during the week of American Thanksgiving, Turkey is getting roasted. Its probably one of the Obama brain trust’s cleverest geopolitical masterstrokes, to lay the smackdown on Recep Tayyip Erdogan using Vladmir Putin.

    Erdogan has been ‘asking for it’ for some time, vying with the Saudis for leadership of the Sunni Arab world, chastizing Israel for intercepting aid flotillas to Gaza (possibly the only useful grandstanding he’s ever done), and bombing the Kurds instead of DAESH while pretending he’s expressing his defiant independence from the U.S..

    Profiting immensely from the Syrian-DAESH war and pushing his indispensibility to the operation, Erdogan even had the temerity to defy the U.S. and sign energy development agreements with Russia.

    Then suddenly Russia began bombing his black market empire in Syria, enraging Erdogan and his clique.


    Turkey then just happens to be able to shoot down a Russian SU 24. A move that had to be preplanned, and it just so happens the U.S. has an agreement with Russia providing that information, on the pretext of U.S.-Russian cooperation on flight safety.


    So, while its nice to see Erdogan get some comeuppance for his manic duplicity and war crimes, lets not forget, that Saudi Arabia, a major American ally, with U.K. help, sits on an important U.N. Human Rights commission, squashed an inquiry into its own war crimes in Yemen.



    Turkey may be the main corridor for DAESH entry into Syria, and the one reaping the most gratuitously illegal profits from the war, but Saudi Arabia is a major DAESH supporter.


    So, this more a realpolitik tiff between rival jealous international mafias, than a move towards justice and peace in the Middle East.

    — Proportional Representation – An idea whose time has come. Get the government you want, today!




  • berger friedrich-wolfgang

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