Changing Who Controls ICANN Jeopardizes Our Presidential Election

It matters to all of us whether we live in the United States or not, if a hostile country can undermine our democratic process.

There is even more alarming evidence this is happening during this election cycle.

Theresa Payton reports: Changing who controls the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) so close to our presidential election will jeopardize the results of how you vote on Nov. 8 unless Congress stops this changeover. When the calendar hits Sept. 30, a mere 6 weeks before our election, the United States cannot be assured that if any web site is hacked, the responsible party will be held accountable. We cannot be sure if a web site is a valid. We cannot be sure if one country is being favored over another. These are all the things ICANN is responsible for and has worked perfectly since the Internet was created. Why change it now and so close to the election? Why does that matter to you as a voter?

Take a look at recent cyber activity as it relates to the election. The Democratic National Convention was breached comprising the entire party’s strategy, donor base, and indeed, national convention. Everything the DNC had done to prepare for a moment four years in the making (if not longer) was undermined by a hacker who had been in their system for some time but waited for the optimal moment to spring it on the DNC – opening day of the convention. The FBI and other U.S. agencies, as the headlines blare, suspect Russia is responsible for the hack. Recently, Vladimir Putin went so far as to say, “Does it matter who broke in? Surely what’s important is the content of what was released to the public.”

It matters to all of us whether we live in the United States or not, if a hostile country can undermine our democratic process. There is even more alarming evidence this is happening during this election cycle. Russian hackers are suspected of breaching voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona. Arizona went so far as to shut down the state’s voter registration system for a week. No data was stolen but it was downloaded. As for Illinois, some voter data was stolen!

Read the rest of this entry »


Master Death List: Journalists Killed in Russia

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56 Journalists Killed in Russia/Motive Confirmed

Terminology explained

Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev, Novoye Delo

July 9, 2013, in Semender, Russia

Mikhail Beketov, Khimkinskaya Pravda

April 8, 2013, in Khimki, Russia

Kazbek Gekkiyev, VGTRK

December 5, 2012, in Nalchik, Russia

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Gadzhimurad Kamalov, Chernovik

December 15, 2011, in Makhachkala, Russia

Abdulmalik Akhmedilov, Hakikat and Sogratl

August 11, 2009, in Makhachkala , Russia

Natalya Estemirova, Novaya Gazeta, Kavkazsky Uzel

July 15, 2009, in between Grozny and Gazi-Yurt , Russia

Anastasiya Baburova, Novaya Gazeta 

January 19, 2009, in Moscow , Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

Telman (Abdulla) Alishayev, TV-Chirkei 

September 2, 2008, in Makhachkala, Russia

Magomed Yevloyev, Ingushetiya

August 31, 2008, in Nazran, Russia

Ivan Safronov, Kommersant

March 2, 2007, in Moscow, Russia

Maksim Maksimov, Gorod

November 30, 2006, in St. Petersburg, Russia

Anna Politkovskaya, Novaya Gazeta

October 7, 2006, in Moscow, Russia

Vagif Kochetkov, Trud and Tulsky Molodoi Kommunar

January 8, 2006, in Tula, Russia

Magomedzagid Varisov, Novoye Delo

June 28, 2005, in Makhachkala, Russia

Pavel Makeev, Puls

May 21, 2005, in Azov, Russia

Paul Klebnikov, Forbes Russia

July 9, 2004, in Moscow, Russia

Adlan Khasanov, Reuters

May 9, 2004, in Grozny, Russia

Aleksei Sidorov, Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye

October 9, 2003, in Togliatti, Russia

Yuri Shchekochikhin, Novaya Gazeta

July 3, 2003, in Moscow, Russia

Roddy Scott, Frontline

September 26, 2002, in Galashki Region, Ingushetia, Russia

Valery Ivanov, Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye

April 29, 2002, in Togliatti, Russia

Natalya Skryl, Nashe Vremya

March 9, 2002, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Eduard Markevich, Novy Reft

September 18, 2001, in Reftinsky, Sverdlovsk Region, Russia

Igor Domnikov, Novaya Gazeta

July 16, 2000, in Moscow, Russia

Aleksandr Yefremov, Nashe Vremya

May 12, 2000, in Chechnya, Russia

Vladimir Yatsina, ITAR-TASS

February 20, 2000, in Chechnya, Russia

Shamil Gigayev, Nokh Cho TV

October 29, 1999, in Shaami Yurt, Russia

Ramzan Mezhidov, TV Tsentr

October 29, 1999, in Shaami Yurt, Russia

Supian Ependiyev, Groznensky Rabochy

October 27, 1999, in Grozny, Russia

Anatoly Levin-Utkin, Yurichichesky Peterburg Segodnya

August 24, 1998, in St. Petersburg, Russia

Larisa Yudina, Sovietskaya Kalmykia Segodnya

June 8, 1998, in Elista, Russia

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Ramzan Khadzhiev, Russian Public TV (ORT)

August 11, 1996, in Grozny, Russia

Viktor Mikhailov, Zabaikalsky Rabochy

May 12, 1996, in Chita, Russia

Nina Yefimova, Vozrozhdeniye

May 9, 1996, in Grozny, Russia

Nadezhda Chaikova, Obshchaya Gazeta

March 30, 1996, in Gehki, Russia

Viktor Pimenov, Vaynakh Television

March 11, 1996, in Grozny, Russia

Felix Solovyov, freelance

February 26, 1996, in Moscow, Russia

Vadim Alferyev, Segodnyashnyaya Gazeta

December 27, 1995, in Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Shamkhan Kagirov, Rossiskaya Gazeta and Vozrozheniye

December 13, 1995, in near Grozny, Russia

Natalya Alyakina, Focus and RUFA

June 17, 1995, in Budyonnovsk, Russia

Farkhad Kerimov, Associated Press TV

May 29, 1995, in Chechnya, Russia

Vladislav Listyev, Russian Public Television (OTR)

March 1, 1995, in Moscow, Russia

Viatcheslav Rudnev, Freelancer

February 17, 1995, in Kaluga, Russia

Jochen Piest, Stern

January, 10, 1995, in Chervlyonna, Russia

Vladimir Zhitarenko, Krasnaya Zvezda

January 1, 1995, in Grozny, Russia

Cynthia Elbaum, Freelancer

December 22, 1994, in Grozny, Russia

Dmitry Kholodov, Mosckovski Komsomolets

October 17, 1994, in Moscow, Russia

Yuri Soltis, Interfax

June 12, 1994, in Moscow, Russia

Aleksandr Smirnov, Molodyozhny Kuryer

October 4, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Aleksandr Sidelnikov, Lennauchfilm Studio

October 4, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Sergei Krasilnikov, Ostankino Television Company

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Yvan Scopan, TF-1 Television Company

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Vladimir Drobyshev, Nature and Man

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Igor Belozyorov, Ostankino State Broadcasting Company

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Rory Peck, ARD Television Company

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Dmitry Krikoryants, Expresskhronika

April 14, 1993, in Grozny, Russia Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: China and Russia Think the U.S. under Obama ‘Does Not Earn Any of Their Respect’ 

Taking a question about the conspicuous absence of a mobile staircase for Air Force One when Obama landed in China, Charles Krauthammer said this indignity was more than merely a “microaggression” for the experienced Chinese.

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Vladimir Putin Honors Critical Russian Journalist’s Birthday with a Celebratory Gunshot Wound to Journalists’s Head 

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Alexander Shchetinin found dead with a gun near his body after friends tried to visit him at home.

Rachael Pells reports: A well-known Russian journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin has been found dead in his Kiev apartment with a gunshot wound to the head.

The body of Alexander Shchetinin, founder the Novy Region (New Region) press agency, was found at his flat after friends tried to visit him on his birthday.

A police spokesperson said Kiev forces were alerted of Ms Shchetinin’s death at around midnight on Saturday. He is believed to have died a few hours earlier, between 8 and 9.30pm.

Officials have speculated that his death was caused by suicide, after a gun was found near his body along with spent cartridges, and the door to his apartment was said to be locked. Read the rest of this entry »


The Weaponization of Information: Russia’s Successful Campaign to Spread False Stories 

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Using both conventional media and covert channels, the Kremlin relies on disinformation to create doubt, fear and discord in Europe and the United States.

STOCKHOLM —  With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an big-brother-halfunsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.

“People were not used to it, and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?”

— Marinette Nyh Radebo, Mr. Hultqvist’s spokeswoman

The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.

“Moscow views world affairs as a system of special operations, and very sincerely believes that it itself is an object of Western special operations. I am sure that there are a lot of centers, some linked to the state, that are involved in inventing these kinds of fake stories.”

— Gleb Pavlovsky, helped establish the Kremlin’s information machine before 2008.

They were all false, but the disinformation had begun spilling into the traditional news media, and as the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.

Sweden’s defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, last month at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. He has tried to counteract disinformation that has threatened to sway public debate in Sweden about a proposed military partnership with NATO. Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Sweden’s defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, last month at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. He has tried to counteract disinformation that has threatened to sway public debate in Sweden about a proposed military partnership with NATO. Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“The planting of false stories is nothing new; the Soviet Union devoted considerable resources to that during the ideological battles of the Cold War. Now, though, disinformation is regarded as an important aspect of Russian military doctrine, and it is being directed at political debates in target countries with far greater sophistication and volume than in the past.”

“People were not used to it, and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?” said Marinette Nyh Radebo, Mr. Hultqvist’s spokeswoman.

[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]

As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V. Putin, who invaded Georgia in 2008 largely to forestall that possibility.

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In Crimea, eastern Ukraine and now Syria, Mr. Putin has flaunted a modernized and more muscular military. But he lacks the economic strength and overall might to openly confront NATO, the European Union or the United States. Instead, he has invested heavily in a program of “weaponized” information, using a variety of means to sow doubt and division. The goal is to weaken cohesion among member states, stir discord in their domestic politics and blunt opposition to Russia. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Putin Ready to Move, ‘Sees Weakness in the White House’

Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of sending saboteurs across the border into Crimea to provoke the Russians, which a Ukrainian official called “ridiculous.” Charles Krauthammer agrees, and believes Putin is ready to take advantage of U.S. and European weakness.

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[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Trump’s Russia Comment ‘Set a Trap That the Clinton Campaign Fell Into’ 

Charles Krauthammer discusses Donald Trump’s call for Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, and how the Clinton campaign’s response belies a total contradiction.

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Dezinformatsiya: Russian Internet Trolls were Being Hired to Pose as Pro-Trump Americans

It’s a brand of information warfare, known as ‘dezinformatsiya,’ that has been used by the Russians since at least the Cold War. The disinformation campaigns are only one ‘active measure’ tool used by Russian intelligence to ‘sow discord among,’ and within, allies perceived hostile to Russia.

 reports: Russia’s troll factories were, at one point, likely being paid by the Kremlin to spread pro-Trump propaganda on social media.

That is what freelance journalist Adrian Chen, now a staff writer at The New Yorker, discovered as he was researching Russia’s “army of well-paid trolls” for an explosive New York Times Magazine exposé published in June 2015.

“The DNC hack and dump is what cyberwar looks like.”

— Dave Aitel, a cybersecurity specialist, a former NSA employee, and founder of cybersecurity firm Immunity Inc., wrote for Ars Technica last week.

“A very interesting thing happened,” Chen told Longform‘s Max Linsky in a podcast in December.

“I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don’t know what’s going on, but they’re all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff,” he said.

Linsky then asked Chen who he thought “was paying for that.”

“I don’t know,” Chen replied. “I feel like it’s some kind of really opaque strategy of electing Donald Trump to undermine the US or something. Like false-flag kind of thing. You know, that’s how I started thinking about all this stuff after being in Russia.”

st petersburg

St. Petersburg, Russia. Flickr/ranopamas

In his research from St. Petersburg, Chen discovered that Russian internet trolls — paid by the Kremlin to spread false information on the internet — have been behind a number of “highly coordinated campaigns” to deceive the American public.

“I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don’t know what’s going on, but they’re all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff.”

— Adrian Chen

It’s a brand of information warfare, known as “dezinformatsiya,” that has been used by the Russians since at least the Cold War. The disinformation campaigns are only one “active measure” tool used by Russian intelligence to “sow discord among,” and within, allies perceived hostile to Russia.

putin-computer

[Read the full story here, at Business Insider]

“An active measure is a time-honored KGB tactic for waging informational and psychological warfare,” Michael Weiss, a senior editor at The Daily Beast and editor-in-chief of The Interpreter — an online magazine that translates and analyzes political, social, and economic events inside the Russian Federation — wrote on Tuesday.

He continued (emphasis added):

“It is designed, as retired KGB General Oleg Kalugin once defined it, ‘to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO, to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States in the eyes of the people in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and thus to prepare ground in case the war really occurs.’ The most common subcategory of active measures is dezinformatsiya, or disinformation: feverish, if believable lies cooked up by Moscow Centre and planted in friendly media outlets to make democratic nations look sinister.”

Vladimir Putin

It is not surprising, then, that the Kremlin would pay internet trolls to pose as Trump supporters and build him up online. In fact, that would be the easy part. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Trump to the Russians: ‘If you’re listening, I hope you find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails’

Vladimir Putin


Ghost in the Machine: Julian Assange Promises More Damaging Revelations to Come

julian

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday his whistleblowing website might release “a lot more material” relevant to the US electoral campaign.

“Perhaps one day the source or sources will step forward and that might be an interesting moment some people may have egg on their faces. But to exclude certain actors is to make it easier to find out who our sources are.”

Assange was speaking in a CNN interview following the release of nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee by suspected Russian hackers.

However, Assange refused to confirm or deny a Russian origin for the mass email leak, saying Wikileaks tries to create ambiguity to protect all its sources.

“It raises questions about the natural instincts of Clinton that when confronted with a serious domestic political scandal, she tries to blame the Russians, blame the Chinese, et cetera.”

“Perhaps one day the source or sources will step forward and that might be an interesting moment some people may have egg on their faces. But to exclude certain actors is to make it easier to find out who our sources are,” Assange told CNN. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Russian Jet Barrel-Rolls Over U.S. Plane, White House Shrugs: Putin Still Doing Donuts on Obama’s Front Lawn


French President Francois Hollande Gagged From Saying the Forbidden: Obama White House Censors Phrase ‘Islamist Terrorism’

WH-censor

Sean Davis reports: President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande met in Washington on Thursday to discuss ways for the two countries to work together to defeat terrorism. But the White House apparently had zero appetite for Hollande’s mention of Islamist terrorism, since it censored the phrase from the official White House video of the meeting posted on the White House website.

[Watch and listen to the video below, which is available on YouTube through the White House’s official account, and you can hear the audio cut out right before Hollande says “Islamist terrorism”]

[You can read the full transcript of the event here or watch the full video here]

Media Research Center, a non-profit media watchdog, was the first to report the White House censorship.

[Hollande’s use of the phrase “Islamist terrorism” is also censored in the White House’s official MP3 recording of the event]

While the official transcript available on the White House web page includes Hollande’s use of the phrase “Islamist terrorism,” the White House video of the remarks muted the audio during that portion of Hollande’s remarks. The audio of the French-to-English interpreter stops right before Hollande characterizes “Islamist terrorism” as the root of terrorism in Syria and Iraq…(read more)

ObamaOrwell

Here is the transcript of what Hollande said, with strikethrough notation to show what the White House censored in its video of the exchange between the two presidents:

Europe has been hit more, given that it is also the target of the terrorists and ISIS. We’ve seen it in Paris last year, as well as in Brussels. And together with President Obama, we worked on coordinating further our commitments, our organizations, our services when it comes to fighting against these terrorists. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacre Bleu! Exodus of 10,000 French Millionaires Amid Rising Muslim Tensions

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The report was compiled by New World Wealth, an agency that gives information on the global wealth sector.

Anaya Roy reports: Rising tensions in France, especially in Paris following a series of Islamist terrorist attacks in 2015, have spurred an exodus of its super-wealthy citizens, a new report on migration trends of millionaires and high-net worth individuals across the world reveals. The report warns that other European countries, including the UK, Belgium, Germany and Sweden “where religious tensions are starting to emerge”, will also see similar trends.

[Read the full story here, at ibtimes.co.uk]

Regarding a Brexit, the report suggests millionaires would want to stay in Britain even if it leaves the single currency bloc.

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The report was compiled by New World Wealth, an agency that gives information on the global wealth sector. The report was based on data collected from investor visa programme statistics of each country; annual interviews with around 800 global high net worth individuals and with intermediaries like migration experts, second citizenship platforms, wealth managers and property agents; data from property registers and property sales statistics in each country; and by tracking millionaire movements in the media.

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Millionaire outflow

According to the report, Millionaire migration in 2015, France topped the list of countries with maximum millionaire outflows as it lost 10,000 millionaires, or 3% of its millionaire population. Among the cities that saw maximum millionaire outflow, Paris, was at the top – losing about 6% of its millionaire population or 7,000 millionaires in 2015 to the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and Israel.

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“The large outflow of millionaires from France is notable – France is being heavily impacted by rising religious tensions between Christians and Muslims, especially in urban areas. We expect that millionaire migration away from France will accelerate over the next decade as these tensions escalate,” the report warns.

“As for inflows, Australia was the favourite destination with maximum inflows in 2015 – a total of 8,000 new millionaires. The US was ranked second with 7,000 inflows, followed by Canada, Israel, the UAE and New Zealand.”

After France, the list of countries ranked by millionaire outflows includes China ranked second, followed by Italy, India, Greece, the Russian Federation, Spain and Brazil in descending order. Read the rest of this entry »


BLUNT FORCE: Medical Report Reveals Putin Spokesman Mikhail Lesin’s Head Bashed In

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‘It was just a little tap on the head, nothing serious’. 

A former spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin who co-founded the Kremlin-backed news outlet RT died in a Washington hotel room of blunt force trauma to the head in November, according the office of D.C.’s medical examiner.

The Thursday revelation runs counter to previous reports that Mikhail Lesin‘s November death was due to a heart attack, reigniting accusations that foul play may have been involved.

[Also see – Palace Intrigue: Putin’s Aide Mikhail Lesin Found Dead]

A joint statement from the Washington Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Metropolitan Police Department claimed that Lesin, 59, also suffered “blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities and lower extremities,” which contributed to his death. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Sophisticated Trump 

What if Donald Trump had elocution lessons? All words verbatim.

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OH YES HE DID: Putin Raises Possibility of Using Nuclear Weapons Against Terrorists 

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But hopes they ‘will never need’ them

Serina Sandhu reports: Vladimir Putin has said he hopes nuclear warheads will not be needed to deal with terrorists, after Russia launched cruise missiles from its submarine at Syria.

“With regard to strikes from a submarine. We certainly need to analyse everything that is happening on the battlefield, how the weapons work. Both the [Kalibr] missiles and the Kh-101 rockets are generally showing very good results. We now see that these are new, modern and highly effective high-precision weapons that can be equipped either with conventional or special nuclear warheads.”

— Vladimir Putin

During a meeting in the Kremlin, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told the President that Kalibr cruise missiles had been fired by the submerged Rostov-on-Don submarine from the Mediterranean Sea for the first time.

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He said TU-22 bombers also took part in the latest raids and that “significant damage” had been done to a munitions depot, a factory manufacturing mortar rounds and oil facilities. Two major targets in Raqqa, the defacto capital of Isis, had been hit, said Mr Shoigu.

President Putin said the new cruise missiles could also be equipped with nuclear warheads – but that he hoped they would never need them.

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He said: “With regard to strikes from a submarine. We certainly need to analyse everything that is happening on the battlefield, how the weapons work. Both the [Kalibr] missiles and the Kh-101 rockets are generally showing very good results. We now see that these are new, modern and highly effective high-precision weapons that can be equipped either with conventional or special nuclear warheads.”

President Putin said the new cruise missiles could also be equipped with nuclear warheads – but that he hoped they would never need them. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama pardons Turkey. Putin does not. #Thanksgiving

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 via Twitter 

 


[VIDEO] Russian SU-24 Jet Shot down by Turkish F-16 Warplanes Over Syria

A Russian jet has been shot down by Turkish warplanes this morning, near the border with Syria.

Russia’s defence ministry claims the aircraft at no point strayed into Turkish airspace, with authorities insisting it remained in Syria “at all times”, according to Interfax.

However, a Turkish military official told Reuters that the Nato member country’s F-16s had fired on the then-unidentified aircraft only after warning it was violating Turkey’s airspace.

“It was downed in line with Turkey’s rules of engagement after violating Ankara‘s airspace,” the wire reports. President Tayyip Erdogan has been briefed.

A statement issued by Turkish military added that the plane had been warned “10 times in five minutes” Read the rest of this entry »