Meet Syrian Rebel Commander Who Bragged about Killing Russian Su-24 Pilot

© REUTERS/ Reuters TV/Haberturk

The downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber cast the spotlight on Syrian Turkmen rebels and particularly Alparslan Celik, who boasted of killing the pilots of the aircraft which took part in Moscow’s counterterrorism campaign in Syria.

It was Celik, the second-in-command of the Turkmen Coastal Division, who confirmed that militants fired at the two Russian pilots as they were descending to the ground. He also claimed that both were killed, although this allegation was later disproved.

“Both of the pilots were retrieved dead. Our comrades opened fire into the air and they died in the air,” he told reporters shortly after the incident took place, showing what appeared to be a piece of a parachute as proof.

Celik, according to RT, is not a Turkmen but a Turkish national, who appears to be a son of the mayor of Keban, a small town in the province of Elazig. Celik is also said to be a member of the Grey Wolves, a youth organization often described as ultranationalist or neo-fascist.

The Grey Wolves “have tried to export their Pan-Turkish ideology and Neo-fascist propaganda to other countries like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, to reunite all the Turkic people, but have been banned. The reason for the ban is simple: the Grey Wolves have been responsible for a series of crimes, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Members of the organisation have killed hundreds of people in Turkey, and their willingness to resort to violence has always been pretty obvious,” International Business Times reported in June.

The organization is linked to the far-right The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the third party in the country. The MHP received nearly 12 percent of the vote in the latest parliamentary elections held in November.

On Tuesday, a Turkish F-16 shot down a Su-24, claiming that the aircraft had violated its airspace. Russian officials and the Su-24 pilot, who survived the crash, insist that the plane did not cross into Turkey. The crew, according to the pilot, did not receive any warning prior to the attack.

Articles by: Sputnik

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]