Lindsey Graham: “I would shoot down Russian aircraft over Syria”


Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
12th November, 2015


A candidate in the US presidential election, from the Republican party, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, declared that he would have implemented plans to shoot down Russian planes in Syria, to protect forces supported by the United States. He expressed this opinion on the radio station AM 970 The Answer.

“The first thing I would say to Putin, if you bomb those we train in Syria, I’ll shoot down your planes,” said the Senator.

“I would hit him with the jets, I might, without exaggeration, have them shot down if he attacked people which we train,” said Graham.

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“The President of the United States is wrong to encourage people to fight, train them, arm them and watch them destroy the enemy”, — said the politician.

Similar statements have previously been made by other candidates under the wing of the President of the United States. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie supported the idea of establishing a no-fly zone in Syria and said that he would also shoot down Russian aircraft in case of violations. In the words of another Republican candidate Marco Rubio, if Russia would violate the boundaries of such a zone, it “would have consequences”.

From September 30, Russia, on the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, began to apply airstrikes against the “Islamic state” in Syria. After the start of air operations, the western media was littered with accusations that the airstrikes allegedly do not strike blows on the IS terrorists, but on the moderate opposition and civil objects. The Russian foreign Ministry dismissed these reports and they were repeatedly denied, stating that the objectives of the military aviation of Russia in Syria are exclusively terrorist groups and not the civilian infrastructure.

After several high-profile accusations made not only in Western media but also from the lips of a number of officials, the Deputy defense Minister Anatoly Antono invited military representatives from NATO countries and Saudi Arabia to a meeting, during which they were asked to refute or substantiate the claims. According to him, the Defense Ministry considers statements about the Russian aviation strikes on peaceful targets in Syria and general disinformation as “part of an information war against Russia” if the foreign representatives do not manifest evidence to the contrary.

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