Yesterday, pro LTTE media reported of a SLAF fighter jet which allegedly went missing in the ‘northern frontier’. According to Pro LTTE Tamilnet, a Mig fighter jet with three airmen inside was shot in the skies over Wanni. Part of the initial report is quoted below:
A Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) MIG fighter jet was shot in the skies over Vanni on Wednesday, according to initial reports from journalists outside Sri Lanka, who cited a highly placed source in Vanni Sri Lankan Forces Headquarters (Vanni SF-HQ). The Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) officials were not available to comment on the reports.
There were 3 airmen inside the aircraft, according to the reports from the Sri Lankan side.
DefenceNet can confirm that this story is completely false. There were no fighter jets missing and MIG27 ‘Flogger’ variant bombers the SLAF possesses are not designed to fly with three airmen inside. Tamilnet, after realizing their mistake have now updated the article:
The exact model type of the MIG fighter jet was not revealed and the information on the number of airmen reported missing as three was also confusing, the journalist said.
Apart from fabricated stories such as this one, pro LTTE media carry stories of civilians injured by SLA artillery fire/airstrikes on a daily basis. Aside from the exaggeration in these reports, they fail to mention how the LTTE has placed its heavy mortars in close proximity of civilian settlements and how civilians fleeing to government controlled territory are shot on sight. Civilians are not the target of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) or the artillery regiment. Had it not been for the human shield deployed by the LTTE, forces would have advanced even closer to last remaining tiger strongholds by now.
Meanwhile the SLAF today dropped leaflets over Mullathivu, informing civilians of the newly declared safety zone. It is doubtful whether the LTTE will allow free movement of civilians to this area.