Russian Defense Ministry blamed Israel in the downing of its military aircraft Tuesday, saying Syrian air defenses accidentally hit the plane while trying to repel an Israeli attack.
A Russian Il-20 military aircraft with 15 servicemen on board has disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said early Tuesday.
Russian Defense Ministry later announced that it was downed accidentally by Syrian S-200 air defense system, which is made by Russia.
Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said the Syria air defense was trying to repel an Israeli F-16 warplane which was carrying out an airstrike in the Syrian province of Latakia.
Konashenkov said the Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as a cover to make it a target for the Syrian air defense systems.
"Hiding behind the Russian plane, Israeli pilots placed it for the fire of air defense of Syria", he said.
He said Israel informed Russia about a planned operation only one minute before the airstrike, leaving no time for the Russian military to move the plane away to a secure zone.
"As a result of Israel's actions, 15 Russian servicemen have been martyred", he said.
"We regard these provocative actions of Israel as hostile. This is absolutely not in line with the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership. We reserve the right for adequate response," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Emmanuel Nahshon, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman, refused to comment to Anadolu Agency about the incident.Last Mod: 18 Eylül 2018, 16:37