Russia says military plane with 14 aboard lost off Syria's coast

Russia says military plane with 14 aboard lost off Syria's coast

Russia says military plane with 14 aboard lost off Syria's coast

Russia blamed Israel after Syria, its own ally, shot down a Russian planes above the Mediterranean in a wild air battled on Monday night. However, it was "extensive and inaccurate" Syrian ground fire that downed the Russian plane.

"In this case, it is more a chain of tragic circumstances because an Israeli fighter did not down our aircraft", Putin said during a September 18 press conference .

Russian Federation has given the Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad crucial support throughout the Syrian conflict which started off in 2011 with a government crackdown.

Mr Putin said Tuesday's crash differed from the Turkish downing of a Russian plane in 2015 as Israel had not shot down the aircraft.

Pompeo said the incident underscores "the need to end Iran's transit of risky weapons systems through Syria".

The Russian military claimed Israeli pilots had attacked Syrian targets by using "the Russian plane as a cover, exposing it to fire from Syrian air defences".

"The trace of the Il-20 on flight control radars disappeared during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian facilities in Latakia province", the defense ministry said in a statement.

Russia said the Israeli aircraft "pushed" the Russian Ilyushin 20 (IL-20) surveillance turboprop plane into the line of fire.

Israel's military has declined to comment.

"The Israeli planes deliberately created a risky situation for surface ships and aircraft in the area", a defence ministry spokesman said.

The Russian Defense Minister spoke on the phone with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and told him that Moscow holds Israel wholly to blame for the shooting down of a Russian military plane near Syria.

The Russian Defence Ministry said a recovery operation in the Mediterranean Sea is underway and that it has already located the wreckage in the sea and has retrieved some bodies and some fragments of the plane.

What is the diplomatic fallout?

Israel's ambassador in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry over the matter, ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

But later President Putin appeared more conciliatory, saying that the Russian response would be to secure the safety of its personnel.

Alleged Israeli strikes in Syria previously have given Russian defense-populated sites a wide berth, but strikes on the Damascus International Airport on Sunday and the air battle on Monday have played out near to Russian forces. The charges are two-fold. It said Israel had only warned it one minute before launching the strikes.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to respond.

Syrian anti-aircraft batteries fired at four Israeli F-16 fighter jets that were conducting a raid.

That this post was written the day before the loss of the Il-20 suggested that the SAA's air defence units were on a heightened state of alert, even by Syrian standards, increasing the chances of a mistake such as this.

There may be several contributory factors in this tragedy. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country. In private things may be rather different.

Why is a Russian aircraft in Syria?

Hmeimim is one of the most important air bases in Russian Federation and is basically used for air strikes on rebel groups in Syria.

He said the Israeli pilots "could not have failed to see the Russian aircraft, as it was coming in to land from a height of 5 km (three miles)".

So far nothing indicates Russian military bases have been targeted, but Syria-based correspondents have reported Russian air defences operating.

The fate of the 14 is not yet known - Russia's defence ministry says the search for them is still ongoing.

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