Russia blames Israel for downing of plane by Syrian forces





MOSCOW (AP) - The Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday again blamed Israel for the downing of a Russian plane by Syrian government forces and said Israel appeared "ungrateful" for Moscow's efforts to rein in Iran-backed fighters in Syria.

Syrian government forces mistook the Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane for an Israeli jet and shot it down Monday, killing all 15 people aboard. While the Russian military initially blamed the plane's loss on Israel, President Vladimir Putin later attributed it to "a chain of tragic, fatal circumstances."

The Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday presented its latest findings on the Il-20's downing, laying the blame squarely on Israel.

"We believe that the Israeli Air Force and those who were making decisions about these actions are fully to blame for the tragedy that happened to the Russian Il-20 plane," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

For several years, Israel and Russia have maintained a special hotline to prevent their air forces from clashing in the skies over Syria. Russia has provided key air support to President Bashar Assad's forces since 2015, while Israel has carried out dozens of strikes against Iran-linked forces. Israeli military officials have previously praised the hotline's effectiveness.

But Konashenkov on Sunday accused Israel of using the hotline to mislead Russia about its plans. He said the Russians were unable to get the Il-20 to a safe place because an Israeli duty officer had misled them, telling them of an Israeli operation in northern Syria while the jets were actually in Latakia, in the country's west.

Konashenkov said an Israeli fighter jet flying over Syria's Mediterranean coast shortly before the downing deliberately used the Russian plane as a shield, reflecting "either lack of professionalism or criminal negligence."

He also complained that the Israelis over the years have waited until the last minute to notify Russia of their operations, endangering Russian aircraft. He described Israel's actions as "a highly ungrateful response to everything that Russia has done for the State of Israel recently."

He referred to efforts by Russia to rein in Iran-backed forces in Syria, including a deal struck in July to keep such fighters 85 kilometers (53 miles) from the Israel-occupied Golan Heights.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Court records reveal a Mueller report right in plain view
Court records reveal a Mueller report right in plain view

While many anticipate the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, legal documents have given the public a preview into his ongoing investigation.

The Latest: Trump again denies collusion as report nears
The Latest: Trump again denies collusion as report nears

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the special counsel's Russia investigation (all times local):

Donald Trump: Russian Asset?
Donald Trump: Russian Asset?

'I  think it's possible" that President Donald Trump is a Russian asset, disgraced former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday. McCabe also said to The Atlantic that FBI brass felt "concern about the president and whether or not he posed a national-security threat that we should be investigating."On Wednesday, Russian president Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly in Moscow. "Let me be loud and clear," he told lawmakers near the Kremlin. "If the U.S. really is going to deploy missiles on the European continent, it will exacerbate the international situation and create a genuine danger for Russia, as there will be missiles with a 10-12-minute...

Putin to U.S.: I
Putin to U.S.: I'm ready for another Cuban Missile-style crisis if you want one

The Cuban Missile Crisis erupted in 1962 when Moscow responded to a U.S. missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba, sparking a standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. More than five decades on, tensions are rising again over Russian fears that the United States might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, as a landmark Cold War-era arms-control treaty unravels. Putin's comments, made to Russian media late on Wednesday, follow his warning that Moscow will match any U.S. move to deploy new missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the United States or by deploying faster missiles or both.

Putin to U.S.: I
Putin to U.S.: I'm ready for another Cuban Missile crisis if you want one

Tensions are rising over Russian fears the U.S. might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe as a Cold war-era arms control treaty unravels.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.