A Russian reconnaissance plane was introduced down by a Syrian missile over the Mediterranean, killing all 15 individuals on board, the Russian protection ministry mentioned Tuesday. It blamed Israel for the crash, saying the airplane was caught within the crossfire as 4 Israeli fighters attacked targets in northwestern Syria.
The Russian army mentioned that the Il-20 reconnaissance plane was hit 35 kilometres off the coast late Monday because it was returning to its dwelling base close by.
“The Israeli pilots have been utilizing the Russian plane as a defend and pushed it into the road of fireside of the Syrian protection,” Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov mentioned in a press release.
Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu referred to as his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, in a while Tuesday to say that Israel is “totally in charge” for the deaths, the ministry mentioned.
The army mentioned Israel didn’t warn it of its operation over Latakia province till one minute earlier than the strike, which didn’t give the Russian airplane sufficient time to flee.
Each the Israeli army and Israel’s Overseas Ministry declined to touch upon the Russian declare.
The Russian Protection Ministry mentioned a restoration operation within the Mediterranean Sea is underway and that it has already positioned the wreckage within the sea and has retrieved some our bodies and a few fragments of the airplane.
The Kremlin sounded cautious within the aftermath of the assault, refusing to touch upon a possible row with Israel.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, informed reporters that the Kremlin is “analyzing the state of affairs” and doesn’t need to communicate additional at this level.
For a number of years, Israel and Russia have maintained a particular hotline to forestall their air forces from clashing within the skies over Syria. Israeli army officers have beforehand praised its effectiveness.
Russia has been a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad and it has two army bases within the nation, together with one near the Mediterranean coast.
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Russia’s dramatic entry into the Syrian civil warfare in 2015 in help of the Syrian authorities, after a 12 months of airstrikes by the U.S. and its coalition companions in opposition to the Islamic State group, elevated the spectre of harmful confrontations within the skies over Syria.
Turkey’s troops are additionally on the bottom in northern Syria and are patrolling the skies over the area as Ankara seeks to ramp up its affect there and curb the enlargement of Syrian Kurdish-controlled territory.
Israel has kept away from taking sides within the Syrian civil warfare. But it surely has acknowledged finishing up scores of airstrikes in opposition to archenemy Iran and its Shiite proxy Hezbollah.
Israel has additionally acknowledged attacking Iranian targets some 200 instances. Israel has warned that it’s going to not enable Iran to ascertain a everlasting army presence in postwar Syria.
All through the preventing, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has maintained steady contact with Russia. Netanyahu continuously travels to Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin to debate the Syria challenge.
Sima Shine, a former senior Mossad official and ex-deputy director-general on the Strategic Affairs Ministry, informed Israel’s Military Radio station that the capturing down is problematic each militarily and internally from a Russian perspective.
“I feel it can impose very critical restriction on Israel’s freedom of exercise,” she mentioned