Sunday, 21 October, 2018


Russia plane downing in Syria causes Russia-Israel rift

Sniper Putin Russian president tests new Kalashnikov marksman rifle Alexey Nikolskiy Sputnik
Bennie Garza | 20 September, 2018, 13:41

Despite calling it a "friendly fire" incident, the Defense ministry held Israel responsible.

Russian President Vladmir Putin described the incident as the result of "tragic accidental circumstances", warning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against carrying out such operations in the future and pledging to beef up security for Russian forces in Syria. The irresponsible actions by the Israeli Air Force led to a tragedy, which claimed the lives of 15 Russian military personnel, he said.

"You don't judge someone who's in mourning, and we have expressed our condolences".

However, he insisted the Russian plane had been felled by "extensive and inaccurate Syrian anti-aircraft (fire)".

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday that Russian experts will study the data to be provided by the Israeli air force chief.

Israel on September 18 said Syrian antiaircraft batteries "fired indiscriminately" and failed to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air during the incident on September 17.

Syrian air defences shot down the Russian military plane on Monday, killing all 15 soldiers aboard, after Israeli missiles had struck the coastal region of Latakia. The Israeli military maintains that it had warned Russian Federation in advance, while Moscow said that it received notice "less than a minute" before the Israeli strike, preventing it from getting its troops out of harm's way in time.

The military said the plane disappeared as four Israeli fighter jets were attacking targets in the area.

The analyst went on to assert that the shoot down incident would likely serve to enhance Russian-Israeli coordination in Syria.

The Kremlin said on Thursday it had received a telegram from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in which he expressed his condolences over a Russian military plane being downed near Syria earlier this week, the Interfax news agency reported.

But President Vladimir Putin, who spoke to his Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Tuesday, then called it "a chain of tragic chance events" although he added that Russian Federation needed to "seriously get to the bottom of what happened".

The Israeli Army said Major General Amikam Norkin and other top officers will travel to Moscow to "present the situation report of the event regarding all aspects, including the pre-mission information and the findings of the [Israel Defense Forces] inquiry".

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