Russia‘s protection ministry stated early on Tuesday that one if its navy plane with 14 individuals on board disappeared from radar screens over Syria on the identical time that Israeli and French forces have been mounting aerial assaults on targets in Syria.
A U.S. official stated Washington believed the plane, which is an Il-20 turbo-prop airplane used for digital reconnaissance, was inadvertently shot down by anti-aircraft artillery operated by Moscow’s ally, the Syrian authorities.
Across the time the airplane disappeared, the Syrian coastal metropolis of Latakia — close to a Russian airbase to which the Il-20 was returning — got here below assault from “enemy missiles,” and missile protection batteries responded, Syrian state media reported.
The protection ministry in Moscow stated the plane was returning to the Russian-run Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province when, at about 11:00 p.m. Moscow time (20:00 GMT) on Monday, it disappeared from radar screens.
The airplane was over the Mediterranean Sea about 35 km (20 miles) from the Syrian shoreline, Russia’s TASS information company quoted the ministry as saying in an announcement.
“The hint of the Il-20 on flight management radars disappeared throughout an assault by 4 Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian services in Latakia province,” the assertion was quoted as saying.
“On the identical time Russian air management radar methods detected rocket launches from the French frigate Auvergne which was positioned in that area.”
READ MORE: Russia hosts its biggest-ever battle video games, contains Chinese language navy
The destiny of the 14 individuals on board the lacking airplane is unknown, and a rescue operation has been organized out of the Hmeymim base, the ministry stated.
Russia’s navy operation in Syria, which started in late 2015, has turned the tide of the battle in favor of Moscow’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in his struggle towards rebels.
But it surely has come at a value to Russia.
In December 2016, a Russian airplane carrying dozens of Purple Military choir singers, dancers and musicians crashed into the Black Sea on the best way to Syria, killing all 92 individuals on board.
WATCH: Putin declares nationwide day of mourning after 92 killed in airplane crash
In March this yr, a Russian navy transport airplane crashed when coming in to land on the Hmeymim base, killing all 39 individuals on board.
A number of nations have navy operations underway round Syria, with forces on the bottom or launching strikes from the air or from ships within the Mediterranean.
In some circumstances, these nations are backing opposing sides within the Syrian battle.
Hotlines are in place for these nations to share operational data on their deployments, however diplomats and navy planners say there may be nonetheless a excessive threat of 1 state inadvertently placing one other nation’s forces.