Looks like Walid and Ted Shoebat were right, that Turkey is one of the countries aiding the rebels and Assad shot down the plane to investigate this ‘purported support’:
TIMES OF ISRAEL – Contrary to previous reports, the two pilots of a Turkish F-4 Phantom which was shot down by Syria in June were not killed in the crash, but were murdered by the Assad regime on Russian orders, according to a devastating series of alleged Syrian intelligence documents leaked to and published by Al-Arabiya on Saturday.
A file “sent from [President Bashar] Assad’s palace,” said the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya,” conveys and thus apparently approves a Russian suggestion to “eliminate” the pilots in the “natural way.”
Syria had claimed that the plane was downed by accident, and at one point asserted that it had believed the plane was Israeli — hence the need to down it.
The leaked paperwork purports to show that the pilots were captured by Syrian Air Force Intelligence forces after their plane was shot down “in coordination with the Russian naval base in Tartus” on June 22, according to a document sent directly from Assad’s office to that of Syrian Special Operations Unit head Brig. Hassan Abdel Rahman. …
According to the files, Assad’s government officially requested that the two men be investigated concerning Ankara’s purported support for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the main force of anti-Assad rebels. In the documents, Assad warned that Turkey would face grave repercussions if it were to act aggressively against Damascus — not least by utilizing the Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK), mobilized with Syrian help.
A plan to transfer the two pilots to Lebanon, where they would be placed in the custody of Hezbollah, was reportedly also considered; however, the documents indicate that their fate was quickly sealed — with Russia’s helping hand.
According to Al-Arabiya: “A subsequently leaked file, also sent from the presidential palace and addressed to all heads of units of the Syrian foreign intelligence, reads: ‘Based on information and guidance from the Russian leadership comes a need to eliminate the two Turkish pilots detained by the Special Operations Unit in a natural way and their bodies need to be returned to the crash site in international waters.’”
The Russians, the leaks indicate, suggested that the Syrian government quickly issue a formal apology to its counterpart in Ankara for shooting down the plane — a recommendation the Assad regime followed.
The June 22 incident strained Turkish-Syrian relations amid heightened tension over Damascus’s use of violence against civilians in the now 19-month civil war.